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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Decatur AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Decatur AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Decatur AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Decatur AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, make certain they are available 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.