Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Best One Near Madison Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Madison AL. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Madison AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Madison AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Madison AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish 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 Madison AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Madison AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Madison AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools 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 jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Madison AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Madison Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison Alabama.