How to Choose the Best One Near Scottsboro Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Scottsboro AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Scottsboro AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Scottsboro AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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. 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 accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Scottsboro AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsboro AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Scottsboro AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Scottsboro AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Scottsboro AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsboro AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make certain 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Scottsboro Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsboro Alabama.