Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Best One Near Hoover Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Hoover AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in 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 assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Hoover AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, including 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 provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want 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 Hoover AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hoover AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help 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 high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hoover AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Hoover Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover Alabama.