Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Vestavia Hills AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to research and analyze each one. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide 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 what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Vestavia Hills AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Vestavia Hills AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Vestavia Hills AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Vestavia Hills AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And 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.
Pick the Right Vestavia Hills Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills Alabama.