How to Choose the Best One Near Hueytown Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Hueytown AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. 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. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Hueytown AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Hueytown AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend 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 Hueytown AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Hueytown AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Hueytown Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hueytown Alabama.