How to Find the Best One Near Montgomery Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Montgomery AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Montgomery AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete 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 phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Montgomery AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Montgomery AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Montgomery AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. 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 colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Montgomery AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Montgomery AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Montgomery AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Montgomery AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Montgomery AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Montgomery Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Montgomery Alabama.