How to Enroll in the Best One Near Helena Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Helena AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally 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 get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Helena AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Helena AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Helena AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Helena AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Helena AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Helena AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Helena AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Helena AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Helena Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Helena Alabama.