How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Kalifornsky Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Kalifornsky AK is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the cheapest or the closest 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Kalifornsky AK laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Kalifornsky AK hospitals, medical clinics, 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 phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Kalifornsky AK employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Kalifornsky AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Kalifornsky AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Kalifornsky AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Kalifornsky AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify 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 regional 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 develop relationships within the local Kalifornsky AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Kalifornsky AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kalifornsky AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Kalifornsky AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical 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 Kalifornsky Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kalifornsky Alaska.