How to Choose the Best One Near Hoover Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Hoover AL. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Hoover AL employers look for certification before 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help 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 high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Hoover Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover Alabama.