Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Best One Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Tuscaloosa AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Tuscaloosa AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Tuscaloosa AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Tuscaloosa AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure 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 online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Tuscaloosa AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tuscaloosa AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all 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 placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Tuscaloosa AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Tuscaloosa AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Tuscaloosa Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tuscaloosa Alabama.