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Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Madison AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Madison AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Madison AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.