How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Knik Fairview Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Knik Fairview AK is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Knik Fairview AK labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Knik Fairview AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer 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 look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Knik Fairview AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Knik Fairview AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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 requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Knik Fairview AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Knik Fairview 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 contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Knik Fairview AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help 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 reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Knik Fairview AK medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Knik Fairview AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Knik Fairview Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Knik Fairview Alaska.