Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Hueytown AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding 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 compare each one. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Hueytown AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all 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. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Hueytown AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
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 health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hueytown Alabama.