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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 begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Cottonwood AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Cottonwood AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Cottonwood AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Cottonwood AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cottonwood AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cottonwood AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, 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 should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.