How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Gateway Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Gateway AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Gateway AK labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Gateway AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Gateway 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many 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 some Gateway AK students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Gateway AK as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Gateway AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Gateway AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Gateway AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gateway AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gateway AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gateway AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Gateway Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gateway Alaska.