How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Goldstream Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Goldstream AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
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 must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Goldstream AK laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Goldstream AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Goldstream AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Goldstream AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 Goldstream AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Goldstream AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Goldstream AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Goldstream AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Goldstream AK health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goldstream AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Goldstream AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Goldstream Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goldstream Alaska.