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How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Kenai Alaska

Kenai Alaska phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Kenai AK is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important 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 variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.

Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Kenai Alaska phlebotomy tech testing blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Kenai AK labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Kenai AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

Kenai Alaska phlebotomy tech examining a blood sampleThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Kenai AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Schools

blood sample in test tube Kenai AlaskaTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. 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 additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, 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 clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Kenai AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy 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 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, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. 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 a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 schools you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Kenai AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Kenai AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, 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 Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kenai AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Learn More About Kenai Phlebotomist Schools

Should You Become 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 job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.

Pick the Right Kenai Phlebotomy School

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. 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 program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kenai Alaska.


 

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