Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Pelham Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Pelham AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably 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 chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pelham AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Pelham AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Pelham AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Pelham AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy 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 program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Pelham AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 even talk to a few Pelham AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 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 comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Pelham AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pelham AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pelham AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Pelham Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pelham Alabama.