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How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Lakes Alaska

Lakes Alaska phlebotomist drawing blood from patient's armChoosing the right phlebotomy school near Lakes AK is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit 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 including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Lakes Alaska phlebotomy tech testing blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Lakes AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Lakes AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

Lakes Alaska phlebotomy tech examining a blood sampleThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Lakes AK employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

sample of blood in test tube Lakes AlaskaTo start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Lakes AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Lakes AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Lakes AK job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Lakes AK clinics or hospitals that you may 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 full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Lakes AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lakes AK healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to 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, 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Learn More About Lakes Phlebotomist Training

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?

Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Lakes AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.

Choose the Right Lakes Phlebotomist Course

Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lakes Alaska.


 

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