How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Fishhook Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Fishhook AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fishhook AK laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Fishhook AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Fishhook AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Fishhook AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online 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 may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Fishhook AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 desirable to prospective employers in the Fishhook AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Fishhook AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fishhook AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fishhook AK health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fishhook AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Fishhook AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Fishhook Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fishhook Alaska.