Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 college 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. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the Alaska schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alaska job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Alaska clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within their local Alaska healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alaska healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Alaska, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training in Alaska
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alaska.