How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Badger Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Badger AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Badger AK labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Badger AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Badger AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Badger AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Badger AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to 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. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Badger AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Badger AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the Alaska 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Badger AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Badger AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Badger AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Badger AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Badger Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Badger Alaska.