How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Dutch Harbor Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Dutch Harbor AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Dutch Harbor AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Dutch Harbor AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, 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 mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Dutch Harbor AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Dutch Harbor AK students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Dutch Harbor AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Dutch Harbor AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative 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 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 also talk to some Dutch Harbor AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Dutch Harbor AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dutch Harbor AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dutch Harbor AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Dutch Harbor AK medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Dutch Harbor Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dutch Harbor Alaska.