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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Nikiski AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Nikiski AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Nikiski AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Nikiski AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Nikiski AK health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nikiski AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.