How to Find the Best One Near Princeton Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Princeton AL. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Princeton AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Princeton AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Princeton AL, check that 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Princeton Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama.