Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Troy AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Troy AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Troy AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Troy AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Troy AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at 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 ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Troy AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Troy AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Troy AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Troy AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, check that they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Troy Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Troy Alabama.