How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Kodiak Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Kodiak AK is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Kodiak AK labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Kodiak AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Kodiak AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Kodiak AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Kodiak AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Kodiak AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students 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 also talk to a few Kodiak AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Kodiak AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot 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 higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Kodiak AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Kodiak AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Kodiak AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around 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 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 perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Kodiak Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Kodiak Alaska.