How to Pick the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Troy AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants 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. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, 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 placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Troy AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Troy AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Troy AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 Troy AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently 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 Troy AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little 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 colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Troy AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Troy AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Troy AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Troy Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Troy Alabama.