Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Montgomery Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Montgomery AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Montgomery AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Montgomery AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 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 imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Montgomery AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 Montgomery AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Montgomery AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Montgomery AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Montgomery AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Montgomery AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Montgomery AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Montgomery Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Montgomery Alabama.