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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Cullman AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Cullman AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Cullman AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Cullman AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.