How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Nome Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Nome AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might 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's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Nome AK laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Nome AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree 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 provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Nome AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Nome AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Nome AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Nome AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Nome AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Nome AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Nome AK health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nome AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Nome AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Nome Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Nome Alaska.