Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Selma Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Selma AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best 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.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Selma AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Selma AL employers look for 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Selma AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college 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 means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Selma AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 potential employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Selma AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Selma AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college 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 critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Selma Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing 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 proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Selma Alabama.