How to Choose the Right One Near Scottsboro Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Scottsboro AL. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Scottsboro AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Scottsboro AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Scottsboro AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsboro AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Scottsboro AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Scottsboro AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsboro AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy 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 Scottsboro AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Scottsboro Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsboro Alabama.