How to Find the Right One Near Muscle Shoals Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the gratifying healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Muscle Shoals AL. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Muscle Shoals AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Muscle Shoals AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many 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 can be a more practical alternative for many Muscle Shoals AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Muscle Shoals AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier 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 desirable to prospective employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Muscle Shoals AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Muscle Shoals AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Muscle Shoals Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Muscle Shoals Alabama.