Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Oxford Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Oxford AL. There are numerous training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Oxford AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Oxford AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want 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 Oxford AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Oxford AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Oxford AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Oxford AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Oxford Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oxford Alabama.