How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Goldstream Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Goldstream AK is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Goldstream AK laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Goldstream AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Goldstream AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Goldstream AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive 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 program you enroll in 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Goldstream AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Goldstream AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Goldstream AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Goldstream AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Goldstream AK health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goldstream AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Goldstream AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Goldstream Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goldstream Alaska.