How to Choose the Best One Near Oxford Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Oxford AL. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Oxford AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Oxford AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Oxford AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Oxford AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Oxford AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with 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 refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Oxford AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Oxford AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oxford AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Oxford Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oxford Alabama.