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What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Evergreen AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing 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 respected 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 school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Evergreen AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 all schools you are considering. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Evergreen AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Evergreen AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Evergreen AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Evergreen AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.