How to Pick the Right One Near Hartselle Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Hartselle AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Hartselle AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Hartselle AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Hartselle AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hartselle AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Hartselle Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hartselle Alabama.