How to Find the Right One Near Talladega Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Talladega AL. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like an intimidating task to research and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two requirements that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should 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 reviewing 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 conversation about online training.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Talladega AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Talladega AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Talladega AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Talladega AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Talladega AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Talladega AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Talladega AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Talladega AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Talladega AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Talladega Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic 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 vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Talladega Alabama.