How to Find the Best One Near Northport Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Northport AL. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. 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 best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Northport AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium 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 resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Northport AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Northport AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All 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. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Northport AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Northport AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Northport AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Northport AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Northport AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Northport Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Northport Alabama.