Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Best One Near Prichard Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Prichard AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
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 short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Prichard AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prichard AL employers look for 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Prichard AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Prichard AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able 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 often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance 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 Prichard AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prichard AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Prichard Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prichard Alabama.