Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Prattville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Prattville AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Prattville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Prattville AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Prattville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Prattville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Prattville 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 total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prattville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prattville AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Prattville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prattville Alabama.