How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Dutch Harbor Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Dutch Harbor AK is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Dutch Harbor AK laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Dutch Harbor AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Dutch Harbor 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Dutch Harbor AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Dutch Harbor AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Dutch Harbor AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Dutch Harbor AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Dutch Harbor AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Dutch Harbor AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings 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, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dutch Harbor AK medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious 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, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Dutch Harbor Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dutch Harbor Alaska.