How to Enroll in the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Hueytown AL. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Hueytown AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Hueytown AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only 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 Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Hueytown AL clinics or hospitals 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 Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Hueytown Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hueytown Alabama.