How to Choose the Best One Near Mobile Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Mobile AL. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Mobile AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Mobile AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mobile AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mobile AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Mobile Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mobile Alabama.