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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Nome AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Nome AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Nome AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Nome AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Nome AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nome AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 because of emergencies or illness.