Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Trussville Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Trussville AL. There are many training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care 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 nervous in hospitals or other Trussville AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally 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 means 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Trussville AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Trussville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general 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 type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Trussville AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Trussville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all 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 placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Trussville AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare 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 develop relationships within the local Trussville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support 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, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Trussville AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Trussville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Trussville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Trussville Alabama.