How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Kodiak Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Kodiak AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Kodiak AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Kodiak AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Kodiak AK employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Kodiak AK students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program 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 receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend 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 Kodiak AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Kodiak AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Kodiak AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Kodiak AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Kodiak AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kodiak AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Kodiak AK medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Kodiak Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Kodiak Alaska.