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Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Clay AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided 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 concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Clay AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Clay AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Clay AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Clay AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clay AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.