How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Nikiski Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Nikiski AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools 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 variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select 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 schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Nikiski AK labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Nikiski AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, 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 collecting blood from elderly 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Nikiski 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Nikiski AK students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Nikiski AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Nikiski AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Nikiski AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Nikiski AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Nikiski AK health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nikiski AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Nikiski 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 with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with 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 Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical 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 fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Nikiski Alaska.