How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bethel Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Bethel AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bethel AK labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Bethel AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Bethel AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Bethel AK students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bethel AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate 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 some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bethel AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Bethel AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bethel AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bethel AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bethel AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bethel AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Bethel Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you select 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 several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bethel Alaska.