How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near College Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near College AK is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in College AK labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as College AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of College AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like 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 offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many College AK students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from College AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the College AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous 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 essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several College AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local College AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support 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 college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the College AK health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near College AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other College AK medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best College Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in College Alaska.