Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Tuscaloosa AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Tuscaloosa AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Tuscaloosa AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm 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 online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Tuscaloosa AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations 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 hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tuscaloosa AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Tuscaloosa AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Tuscaloosa AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Tuscaloosa Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tuscaloosa Alabama.