How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Lakes Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Lakes AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Lakes AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Lakes AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned 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 blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Lakes AK employers look for 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Lakes AK students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Lakes AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require 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. 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 working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lakes AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Lakes AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Lakes AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Lakes AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lakes AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Lakes AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Lakes Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lakes Alaska.