How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near College Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near College AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in College AK labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including College AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once 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 require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some College AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from College AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the College AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few College AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local College AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the College AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend 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, verify 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other College AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best College Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in College Alaska.