Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Right One Near Prichard Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Prichard AL. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze 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 receive a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Prichard AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Prichard AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend 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 tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Prichard AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Prichard AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help 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 positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prichard AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Prichard Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prichard Alabama.