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What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Juneau AK 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 Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position 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 rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.