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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Sylacauga AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sylacauga AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Sylacauga 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sylacauga AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sylacauga AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, check that 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.