How to Find the Right One Near Mobile Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Mobile AL. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Mobile AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Mobile AL employers require certification before hiring 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
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 decided on the kind 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 Mobile AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 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 essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 provide at least 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 provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Mobile AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working 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 on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Mobile Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile Alabama.