How to Pick the Right One Near Ozark Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the gratifying healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Ozark AL. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do 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, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Ozark AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Ozark AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Ozark AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many 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 imperative to check out 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Ozark AL clinics or hospitals that you might 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 filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Ozark AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ozark AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Ozark Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.