How to Choose the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Hueytown AL. There are a number of training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Hueytown AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Hueytown 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 filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 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 illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Hueytown Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available 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 healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hueytown Alabama.