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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Saraland AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Saraland AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Saraland AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Saraland AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Saraland AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saraland AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.