Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Mountain Brook AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Mountain Brook AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Mountain Brook AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Mountain Brook AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Mountain Brook AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 examination offered 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 programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mountain Brook AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Mountain Brook AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mountain Brook AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering 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 school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mountain Brook AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Mountain Brook Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mountain Brook Alabama.