How to Find the Best One Near Ozark Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Ozark AL. 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. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Ozark AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Ozark AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Ozark AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal 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 check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Ozark AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Ozark AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying 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 large network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ozark AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Ozark Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.