Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Ozark Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Ozark AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Ozark AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Ozark AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Ozark AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify 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 colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? 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 investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Ozark AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted 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 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Ozark AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ozark AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Ozark Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.