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Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Fairbanks AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.