Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Tuscaloosa AL. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Tuscaloosa AL employers require 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Tuscaloosa AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Tuscaloosa AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 Tuscaloosa AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Tuscaloosa AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Tuscaloosa Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tuscaloosa Alabama.