How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Fishhook Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Fishhook AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fishhook AK laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Fishhook AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Fishhook AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Fishhook AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Fishhook AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fishhook AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Fishhook AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Fishhook AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fishhook AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fishhook AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fishhook AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Fishhook Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fishhook Alaska.