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Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want 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 Northport AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Northport AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Northport AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Northport AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Northport AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Northport AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.