Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Opelika Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Opelika AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Opelika 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Opelika AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Opelika AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Opelika AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Opelika AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Opelika AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Opelika AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Opelika 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 as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Opelika Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Opelika Alabama.