How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Kodiak Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Kodiak AK is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Kodiak AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Kodiak AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior 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 collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Kodiak AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Kodiak AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Kodiak AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, 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 securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Kodiak AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Kodiak AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Kodiak AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Kodiak AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kodiak AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Kodiak AK medical environments, well this profession 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 their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Kodiak Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kodiak Alaska.