How to Find the Right One Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Vestavia Hills AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review 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 cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Vestavia Hills AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Vestavia Hills AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws 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 practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Vestavia Hills AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Vestavia Hills Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking 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 proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Vestavia Hills Alabama.