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What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking 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 each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
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 some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Enterprise AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Enterprise AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.