Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Right One Near Millbrook Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Millbrook AL. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Millbrook AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 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 along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Millbrook AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Millbrook AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic idea 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Millbrook AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Millbrook AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Millbrook AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Millbrook AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Millbrook AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Millbrook AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Millbrook Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Millbrook Alabama.