How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Nikiski Alaska
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Nikiski AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Nikiski AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Nikiski AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general 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 phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. 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 probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Nikiski AK employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Nikiski AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Nikiski AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part 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 a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Nikiski AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Nikiski AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Nikiski AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help 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 college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Nikiski AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Nikiski AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Nikiski AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Nikiski Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Nikiski Alaska.