Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Hartselle Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Hartselle AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hartselle AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Hartselle AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Hartselle AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Hartselle AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hartselle AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Hartselle Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hartselle Alabama.