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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Jackson AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Jackson AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Jackson AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships 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 receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Jackson AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jackson AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jackson AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.