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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Soldotna AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate 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 exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Soldotna AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Soldotna AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Soldotna AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Soldotna AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Soldotna AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.