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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bessemer AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bessemer AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.