How to Find the Right One Near Northport Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Northport AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Northport AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Northport AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional 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 licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Northport AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Northport AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Northport AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Northport AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Northport AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Northport AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Northport AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Northport Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Northport Alabama.