What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become 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 school is important if you will be commuting from home in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabama colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alabama job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Alabama hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within their local Alabama healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alabama medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Alabama, 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program in Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabama.