Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Saraland Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Saraland AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Saraland AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Saraland AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Saraland AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Saraland AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Saraland AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Saraland AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Saraland AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Saraland AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Saraland AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Saraland Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Saraland Alabama.