How to Choose the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Mountain Brook AL. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost 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 should also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Mountain Brook AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Mountain Brook AL employers look for certification before employing 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Mountain Brook AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 important if you will be commuting from Mountain Brook AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Mountain Brook AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Mountain Brook AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mountain Brook AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working 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. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Mountain Brook Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mountain Brook Alabama.