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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish 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 Highland Lakes AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Highland Lakes AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Highland Lakes AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from 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 clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Highland Lakes AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Highland Lakes AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Highland Lakes AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.