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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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. At 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Phenix City AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.