Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Vestavia Hills AL. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Vestavia Hills AL employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Vestavia Hills AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general 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 type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Vestavia Hills AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Vestavia Hills Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including 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 may differ 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 must thoroughly screen and compare each school 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 right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills Alabama.