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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Prattville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program 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 examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Prattville AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.