How to Choose the Right One Near Prattville Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Prattville AL. There are a number of training options available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might 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 you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick 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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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prattville AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Prattville AL employers require certification before 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Prattville AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Prattville AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams 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 organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously 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 college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Prattville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Prattville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville Alabama.