How to Pick the Right One Near Hartselle Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Hartselle AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hartselle AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Hartselle AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Hartselle AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Hartselle AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hartselle AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Hartselle Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hartselle Alabama.