How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Eagle River Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Eagle River AK is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially 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 talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Eagle River AK labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Eagle River AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Eagle River AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Eagle River AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Eagle River AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Eagle River AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Eagle River AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Eagle River AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Eagle River Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. 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 appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Eagle River Alaska.