How to Choose the Best One Near Jasper Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Jasper AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Jasper AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Jasper AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Jasper AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Jasper AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Jasper AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 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 assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Jasper AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Jasper AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school 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 along with a large network of professional contacts within the Jasper AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jasper AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Jasper Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jasper Alabama.