How to Choose the Right One Near Saraland Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Saraland AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Saraland AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Saraland AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school 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 obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now 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 decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Saraland AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component 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 several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior 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 loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Saraland AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Saraland AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Saraland AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Saraland AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Saraland AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Saraland Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. 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 presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Saraland Alabama.