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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsboro AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Scottsboro AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Scottsboro AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsboro AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.