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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tanaina AK as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tanaina AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Tanaina AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tanaina AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tanaina AK medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tanaina AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.