How to Choose the Right One Near Oxford Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Oxford AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oxford AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Oxford AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Oxford AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Oxford AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Oxford AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Oxford AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Oxford AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oxford AL, make certain 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 study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Oxford Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oxford Alabama.