Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Homewood Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Homewood AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Homewood AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along 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 provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Homewood AL employers require 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Homewood AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Homewood AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 desirable to future employers in the Homewood AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Homewood AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Homewood AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide 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 school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Homewood AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Homewood AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Homewood Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Homewood Alabama.