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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Satsuma AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable 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 Satsuma AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Satsuma AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Satsuma AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Satsuma AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Satsuma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.