How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Farmers Loop Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Farmers Loop AK is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Farmers Loop AK laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Farmers Loop AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Farmers Loop AK employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Farmers Loop AK students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Farmers Loop AK as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Farmers Loop AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Farmers Loop AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Farmers Loop AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide 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 program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Farmers Loop AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Farmers Loop AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Farmers Loop AK medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 job for you.
Choose the Best Farmers Loop Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Farmers Loop Alaska.