How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Chena Ridge Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Chena Ridge AK is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Chena Ridge AK labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Chena Ridge AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Chena Ridge AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Chena Ridge AK students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Chena Ridge 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 a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Chena Ridge AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Chena Ridge AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Chena Ridge AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chena Ridge AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chena Ridge AK, make sure 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Chena Ridge AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Chena Ridge Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chena Ridge Alaska.