How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Dutch Harbor Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Dutch Harbor AK is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Dutch Harbor AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Dutch Harbor AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Dutch Harbor AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Dutch Harbor AK students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Dutch Harbor AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Dutch Harbor AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Dutch Harbor AK hospitals or clinics that you may 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Dutch Harbor AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dutch Harbor AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dutch Harbor AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dutch Harbor AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to 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 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 may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Dutch Harbor Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dutch Harbor Alaska.