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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish 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 expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.