How to Enroll in the Best One Near Selma Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Selma AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Selma AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Selma AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Selma AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Selma AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to 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 phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Selma AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Selma AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Selma AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Selma Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Selma Alabama.