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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Sterling AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Sterling AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Sterling AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sterling AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sterling AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sterling AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.