How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Chena Ridge Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Chena Ridge AK is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chena Ridge AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Chena Ridge AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Chena Ridge AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Chena Ridge AK students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Chena Ridge AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take 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. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chena Ridge AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Chena Ridge 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 check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Chena Ridge AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chena Ridge AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chena Ridge AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
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 nervous in hospitals or other Chena Ridge AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Chena Ridge Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chena Ridge Alaska.