How to Pick the Right One Near Princeton Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Princeton AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters 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 evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Princeton AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Princeton AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish 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 adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional 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 Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Princeton Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama.