How to Pick the Right One Near Selma Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Selma AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Selma AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two 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 furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Selma AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Selma AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Selma AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee 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 obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Selma AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Selma AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Selma AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Selma Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Selma Alabama.