Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Princeton Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Princeton AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your selection. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Princeton AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend 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 Princeton AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Princeton AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Princeton AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Princeton AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Princeton Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama.