How to Enroll in the Best One Near Scottsboro Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Scottsboro AL. There are many training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Scottsboro AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Scottsboro AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in 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.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies 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-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Scottsboro AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Scottsboro AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Scottsboro AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Scottsboro AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsboro AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Scottsboro Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to 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 ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsboro Alabama.