Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Mountain Brook AL. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Mountain Brook AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Mountain Brook 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Mountain Brook AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now 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 selected 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Mountain Brook AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mountain Brook AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Mountain Brook AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Mountain Brook AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mountain Brook AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Mountain Brook Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mountain Brook Alabama.