Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Homewood Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Homewood AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Homewood AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Homewood AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Homewood AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Homewood AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Homewood AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Homewood AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Homewood AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Homewood AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Homewood Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Homewood Alabama.