Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Ozark Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Ozark AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Ozark AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 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. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Ozark AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Ozark AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Ozark AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish 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? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Ozark AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ozark AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Ozark Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.