Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Phenix City Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Phenix City AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Phenix City AL employers require certification before 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phenix City AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City 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 as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phenix City Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City Alabama.