How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Barrow Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Barrow AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Barrow AK labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Barrow AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Barrow AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Barrow AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Barrow AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Barrow AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 as well. You can also contact some Barrow AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Barrow AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Barrow AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Barrow AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Barrow AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Barrow Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Barrow Alaska.