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What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Tuscaloosa AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical 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 very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tuscaloosa AL job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Tuscaloosa AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Tuscaloosa AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

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