How to Choose the Best One Near Saraland Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Saraland AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Saraland AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Saraland AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important 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 phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Saraland AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important 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 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 also. You can even contact a few Saraland AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Saraland AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive 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 college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saraland AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled 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 sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Saraland Alabama.