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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist 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 may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have 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 practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Florence 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.