How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Kalifornsky Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Kalifornsky AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 in fact work in Kalifornsky AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Kalifornsky AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, 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 collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Kalifornsky AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Kalifornsky AK students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy 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 picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Kalifornsky AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, 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 clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Kalifornsky AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Kalifornsky AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Kalifornsky AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Kalifornsky AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kalifornsky AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need 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 anxious in hospitals or other Kalifornsky AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and 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 job for you.
Pick the Best Kalifornsky Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Kalifornsky Alaska.