How to Enroll in the Right One Near Prichard Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Prichard AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four 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 required in the majority of states, most Prichard AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Prichard AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prichard AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Prichard AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prichard AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prichard AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Prichard Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prichard Alabama.