Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Choose the Best One Near Jasper Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Jasper AL. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Jasper AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate 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 even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Jasper AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Jasper AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Jasper AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Jasper AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any schools 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 placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Jasper AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Jasper AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jasper AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jasper AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Jasper Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college 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 best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jasper Alabama.