How to Enroll in the Right One Near Huntsville Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Huntsville AL. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Huntsville AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Huntsville AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Huntsville AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Training 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 may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Huntsville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Huntsville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Huntsville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Huntsville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Huntsville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even 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 have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Huntsville Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Huntsville Alabama.