How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Kenai Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Kenai AK is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 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 nearby campus. We'll talk 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Kenai AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Kenai AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Kenai AK employers look for certification prior to hiring 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out 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. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Kenai AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Kenai AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Kenai AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Kenai AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Kenai AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Kenai AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kenai AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Kenai AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Kenai Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Kenai Alaska.