How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Kenai Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Kenai AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Kenai AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Kenai AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can 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 practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Kenai AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Kenai AK students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Kenai AK as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Kenai AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Kenai AK clinics or hospitals that you may 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 ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Kenai AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position 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 the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Kenai AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kenai AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Kenai AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Kenai Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kenai Alaska.