How to Enroll in the Best One Near Pell City Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Pell City AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. 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 furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pell City AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Pell City AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require 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 pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum 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 part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Pell City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now 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 chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Pell City AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to 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 regulations 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 practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pell City AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Pell City AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Pell City AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pell City AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pell City AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Pell City Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pell City Alabama.