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Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now 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 picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Decatur AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process 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 should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Decatur AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Decatur AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Decatur AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Decatur AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.