How to Pick the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Mountain Brook AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or participate 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Mountain Brook AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as 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 furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Mountain Brook AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist 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 picked the kind of program you want 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. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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 clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Mountain Brook AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Mountain Brook AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Mountain Brook AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mountain Brook AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Mountain Brook Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mountain Brook Alabama.