Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Muscle Shoals AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria 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. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Muscle Shoals AL employers require 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Muscle Shoals AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Muscle Shoals AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, 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. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Muscle Shoals AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Muscle Shoals AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Muscle Shoals Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Muscle Shoals Alabama.