How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bethel Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bethel AK is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bethel AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Bethel AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Bethel AK employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Bethel AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Bethel AK as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing 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 phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bethel AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many 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 important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Bethel AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bethel AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Bethel AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bethel AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bethel AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Bethel Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bethel Alaska.