How to Find the Right One Near Trussville Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Trussville AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest 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. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Trussville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Trussville AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Trussville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Trussville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Trussville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Trussville AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Adequate Training Included? 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 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 Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Trussville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Trussville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Trussville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Trussville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Trussville Alabama.