How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Homer Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Homer AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate 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 obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Homer AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Homer AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Homer AK employers look for certification before hiring 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Homer AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Homer AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares 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 recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Homer AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Homer AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Homer AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Homer AK medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homer AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Homer AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Homer Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding 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 found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Homer Alaska.