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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Ajo AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Ajo AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Ajo AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the Arizona 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Ajo AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Ajo AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ajo AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.