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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Pike Road AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pike Road AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Pike Road AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pike Road AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Pike Road AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pike Road AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.