Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Helena Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Helena AL. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Helena 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Helena AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Helena AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select 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 be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Helena AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Helena AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Helena AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Helena AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Helena AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Helena Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Helena Alabama.