Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Huntsville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Huntsville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Huntsville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Huntsville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Huntsville AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Huntsville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Huntsville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Huntsville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Huntsville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Huntsville Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Huntsville Alabama.