How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Meadow Lakes Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Meadow Lakes AK is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Meadow Lakes AK laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Meadow Lakes AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Meadow Lakes AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, 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 supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Meadow Lakes AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Meadow Lakes AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Meadow Lakes AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Meadow Lakes AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Meadow Lakes AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Meadow Lakes AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Meadow 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Meadow Lakes AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Meadow Lakes Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Meadow Lakes Alaska.