Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Muscle Shoals AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online classes will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose 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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Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Muscle Shoals AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Muscle Shoals AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Muscle Shoals AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Muscle Shoals AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Muscle Shoals AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Muscle Shoals Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Muscle Shoals Alabama.