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Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Roanoke AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? 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 performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Roanoke AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Roanoke AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Roanoke AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Roanoke AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Roanoke AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.