How to Pick the Right One Near Pelham Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Pelham AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior 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. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Pelham AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Pelham AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pelham AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pelham AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Pelham AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Pelham AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Pelham AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pelham AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Pelham Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pelham Alabama.