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What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Florence AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate 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 mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Florence AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide 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 school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Florence AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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