How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Knik Fairview Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Knik Fairview AK is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Knik Fairview AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Knik Fairview AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Knik Fairview AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Knik Fairview AK students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Knik Fairview AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Knik Fairview AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Knik Fairview AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see 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 full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Knik Fairview AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Knik Fairview AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Knik Fairview AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous 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 required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Knik Fairview Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Knik Fairview Alaska.