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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Anniston AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Anniston AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Anniston AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Anniston AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anniston AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anniston AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.