How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Meadow Lakes Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Meadow Lakes AK is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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 sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Meadow Lakes AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may 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 practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Meadow Lakes AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Meadow Lakes AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Meadow Lakes AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose 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 a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Meadow Lakes AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Meadow Lakes AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide 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 adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Meadow Lakes AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Meadow Lakes AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Meadow Lakes AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Meadow Lakes AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Meadow Lakes Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. 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 college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Meadow Lakes Alaska.