Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Madison Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Madison AL. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Madison AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Madison AL employers look for certification before 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 several states that do require 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 imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many 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 practical alternative for many Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, 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 hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Madison AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 classroom and practical. 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added 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 Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Madison AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Madison Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison Alabama.