Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Oxford Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Oxford AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy 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 decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Oxford AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Oxford AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Oxford AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you 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 opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Oxford AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Oxford AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Oxford AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt 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. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Oxford Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oxford Alabama.