How to Pick the Right One Near Mobile Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Mobile AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Mobile AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Mobile AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mobile AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mobile AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Mobile Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical 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 offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mobile Alabama.