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What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Clanton AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically 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 Clanton AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of 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 out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Clanton AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. 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 Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Clanton AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Clanton AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Clanton AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.