How to Pick the Right One Near Madison Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Madison AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Madison AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Madison AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in 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 method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, 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 completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Madison AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Madison AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Madison AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Madison Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains 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 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 appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Madison Alabama.