How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Butte Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Butte AK is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Butte AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Butte AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Butte AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Butte AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Butte AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Butte AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Butte AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Butte AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Butte AK health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Butte AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Butte AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Butte Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Butte Alaska.