How to Enroll in the Right One Near Phenix City Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Phenix City AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole 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 due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Phenix City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phenix City Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City Alabama.