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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Cullman AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the College'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 along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Cullman AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Cullman AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position 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 rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Cullman AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 illness or emergencies.