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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Alexander City AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the 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 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alexander City AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.