Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Selma Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Selma AL. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering 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 schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Selma AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Selma AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted 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. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Selma AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Selma AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all 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 organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Selma AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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. At 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Selma AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Selma AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Selma Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Selma Alabama.