Frequently Asked Questions

How does one determine if a career in healthcare is appropriate for them?

Not everyone is prepared to deal with blood and body fluids on a daily basis, interface with people experiencing pain and grief, work odd hours outside the “normal” 8 am to 5 pm time designation, or work 12-hour shifts as required in many healthcare positions. To familiarize students with what it takes to be successful in the healthcare field we recommend all students take Introduction to Healthcare (HPRO 100) during their first quarter. There they will gain insight into various healthcare positions, what personality types are typically successful in each of those positions, and the opportunity to complete a personality/career profile that will match their specific personality traits against current healthcare job descriptions.

Will healthcare facilities hire someone with Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is the one health condition that may prevent a person from being hired into a position that requires patient interaction. It is a serious enough condition that one should research the hiring practices of local healthcare facilities before considering a career in healthcare. There are multiple healthcare positions that require no interaction with patients (i.e., filing, billing, coding), but hiring into these positions is left to the discretion of the healthcare facility.

What days, times, and quarters are classes held?

Most classes occur between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Occasionally there may be weekend classes or field trips. Courses will primarily be in the classroom with some online work. Where applicable, classes may be offered totally online. Clinical externships are held at off-site medical facilities. As we do not control when these facilities require the presence of our students, all students must plan their schedule to be fully available to whatever time schedule outside clinics request, including weekends. The following link shows quarterly offerings.

Projected Class Offerings

Why are there pre-requisites on classes?

Pre-requisites are put in place to help students succeed in advanced classes. In pre-requisite classes students will learn medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, CPR, HIV/AIDS, and HIPAA – all required information to successfully achieve the learning outcomes of advanced classes. Students will also be instructed on the vaccinations and background checks required for externships.

Can pre-requisite classes be waived if similar classes have been taken at other colleges?

Yes, it is possible to have classes waived. Each request is evaluated on an individual basis. Factors taken into consideration include: what the class is, where it was taken, how many credits it is, what grade was received, and how long ago the class was taken (especially important with math and science classes). To begin the process, students must supply a copy of their transcripts listing all classes they wished waived along with a completed Petition for Course Substitution/Waiver form.

Can students test out of a class or be given credit for work experience?

Why are immunizations required?

Medical facilities require immunizations for all personnel who interface with patients. Students attending externships require the same immunizations. The cost of immunizations are the responsibility of the student. Immunizations must be completed before applying for an externship. Failure to do so will result in the student not being able to participate in an externship.

Health Immunization Form

Why is a criminal background check required?

Medical facilities do not typically hire personnel who have felonies or gross misdemeanors in their background. As a result, a student may not be able to be placed in an externship. For students who wish to focus their education in the healthcare field, researching hiring requirements with local healthcare facilities is recommended. The following is a list of felonies and gross misdemeanors that may disqualify students from a career in healthcare.

Criminal List

What is the HSEWI Disclosure Statement for background checks?

Many healthcare programs in the Health Sciences, Education & Wellness Institute (HSEWI) require completion of this form. Students should read it for clarifying information on the criminal background check and how it may influence participation in a clinical externship. Students not accepted into an externship because of past criminal activities may find themselves in the position of being unable to complete certificate requirements.

Disclosure Statement

How much does a background check cost?

Students are required to get their background check from The results will be posted to the web site in a secure, tamper-proof environment, where the student, college, and externship personnel can view the results.

Package code “BB85” provides the national background check. The cost is approximately $49.

Where are clinical externships held?

Clinical externships are at local medical facilities which may involve travel to Tacoma, Bellingham, or Snoqualmie. All students accepted into an externship must have reliable transportation. All clinical experiences will be under the supervision of personnel at the medical facilities.

Can students choose their externship?

Students will not be allowed to choose their clinical site. The instructor of the program will decide which clinical site a student is assigned to.

What is considered acceptable presentation and/or behavior at externship sites?

Students will have no visible body jewelry, face piercings, or tattoos at clinical sites. Small rings on the hands and small earrings in the ears are acceptable.

  • Hair color and style must be professional with no unnatural hair colors (i.e., orange, green); hair longer than shoulder length must be tied back.
  • Beards must be neat and well groomed.
  • Nails must be short and trimmed.
  • Shoes must have closed toes and heels.
  • No perfume or after-shave is allowed.
  • An official name badge will be worn at all times at clinical sites.
  • All students must be on time to their externships. If a student falls ill, they must call both their instructor and the supervisor at the medical facility before their scheduled start time. Failure to notify either of these people will result in the student losing their externship and getting a grade of ‘F.’ Health Professions accepts not responsibility for finding any expelled student another externship the following quarter. Being expelled from a clinical site will result in the student not being able to complete their certificate program.
  • All students will conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner as set out by the medical facility serving as their externship site. Failure to do so will result in the student losing their externship and getting a grade of ‘F.’ Health Professions accepts no responsibility for finding any expelled student another externship the following quarter. Being expelled from a clinical site will result in the student not being able to complete their certificate program.

What if a student wants to drop out of an externship after starting it?

In the event of an emergency (i.e., death in the family, hospitalization) Health Professions will do everything in their power to find another externship for the student the following quarter as any time longer than that would seriously compromise student retention of the required skills. For students wanting to leave an externship without a valid reason, Health Professions accepts no responsibility for finding them another externship. Not completing an externship will result in the student not being able to complete their certificate program.

How much study is required for the Health Professions programs?

Based on experience and recommendations we believe students who study an additional three (3) hours “outside class” for every hour spent “in class” are more successful in achieving the course’s learning outcomes. (Example: A 5-credit class requires 5 hours of classroom instruction per week. This equates to 15 hours of additional weekly study “outside the classroom.” That totals 20 hours per week dedicated to just one 5-credit class!)

What supplies are needed for class?

Most classes need the required textbooks, notebooks, scantrons, highlighters, pens and pencils. Some classes require scrubs and specially prepared “kits” that contain the necessary class supplies. Access to a computer with the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet software, and e-mail are necessary. Bellevue College has a student computer lab located in the “N” building for students without computer access.

Are there supply fees for classes?

Many classes require the purchase of expensive medical supplies to keep instruction state-of-the-art. The fees for these materials are either attached to the class as a supply fee or materials are packaged as a supply kit available in the bookstore for purchase with the class textbook.

Why do Health Professions online classes require on-campus final and midterm examinations?

The policy in the Health Sciences, Education & Wellness Institute is that all online classes have proctored midterms and finals – something not unusual in the majority of colleges and universities. These exams will be held at Bellevue College at a time designated by the course instructor. Alternative sites and times are possible for out-of-state students and any student who cannot make the regularly scheduled exam. However, alternative sites may charge a proctoring fee, which the student is responsible for paying. It is also the responsibility of the student to find and set up the alternative site and time. During these examinations, students will be required to show photo identification before being allowed to sit for the exam. Failure to bring photo identification will result in not being allowed to take the examination and may result in a failed grade.

Why is computer competency necessary?

Lack of competency in computer skills may result in an inability to not only complete program requirements but to eventually obtain a position in the healthcare field as the medical world is now requiring that most employees have basic computer skills. This includes word processing, file saving and transfer, Internet, and e-mail usage, as well as specific software for patient records, laboratory testing, appointment scheduling, etc.

Is one guaranteed a job after completing a certificate program?

Bellevue College does not guarantee any student a job after completing any of its programs or degrees. Health Professions certificates offer a better prepared potential employee for competitive entry-level healthcare positions.

Can one get hired as a phlebotomist without Clinical Lab Assistant skills?

Hospitals seem to prefer that their phlebotomists have both phlebotomy and clinical laboratory skills. Because of this, we advise anyone applying for the Phlebotomy Technician Certificate to also apply for the Clinical Lab Assistant Certificate.

Does Health Professions offer job placement?

Health Professions does not offer job placement for those enrolled in its certificate programs. It is suggested that students check the following web sites for job availability: and

Are Health Professions classes transferable?

Health Professions classes are designed to help people transition into entry-level healthcare positions. These classes are not transferable to 4-year colleges or universities.

Last Updated January 19, 2017