How to Choose the Right One Near Montgomery Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Montgomery AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence process. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Montgomery AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Montgomery AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Montgomery AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Montgomery AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Montgomery AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Montgomery AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Montgomery AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Montgomery AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick 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 go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Montgomery AL, check that they are available 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 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Montgomery Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to 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 pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Montgomery Alabama.