How to Find the Right One Near Prichard Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Prichard AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Prichard AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Prichard AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Prichard AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Prichard AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prichard AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Prichard Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prichard Alabama.