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Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Opp AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Opp AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Opp AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Opp AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Opp AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Opp AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.