Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Hoover Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Hoover AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. 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 supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Hoover 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each 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 making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night 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 also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Hoover Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover Alabama.