How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Chena Ridge Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Chena Ridge AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Chena Ridge AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Chena Ridge AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers 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 every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Chena Ridge AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Chena Ridge 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 textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Chena Ridge AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chena Ridge AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Chena Ridge AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Chena Ridge AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chena Ridge AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chena Ridge AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 should 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 able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Chena Ridge AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Chena Ridge Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chena Ridge Alaska.