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What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now 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 selected 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Kenai AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Kenai AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Kenai AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Kenai AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Kenai AK medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kenai AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.