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Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose 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 have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Hartselle AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hartselle AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hartselle AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.