Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Oxford Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Oxford AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Oxford AL employers require certification before 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Oxford AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, 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 phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. 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 Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Oxford AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Oxford AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oxford AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Oxford Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oxford Alabama.