Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Hoover Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Hoover AL. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Hoover AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps 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 recognized 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hoover AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study 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 have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Hoover Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover Alabama.