Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Huntsville AL. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Huntsville AL employers require certification before employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Huntsville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 Huntsville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Huntsville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Huntsville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Huntsville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Huntsville Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Huntsville Alabama.