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Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Winfield AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Winfield AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Winfield AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Winfield AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Winfield AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Winfield AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.