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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Hueytown AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hueytown AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hueytown AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.