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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Leeds AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Leeds 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 those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Leeds AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Leeds AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Leeds AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Leeds AL, make certain 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 study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.