How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Nome Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Nome AK is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Nome AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Nome AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Nome AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Nome AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
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 picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Nome AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Nome AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Nome AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Nome AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Nome AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nome AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Nome AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Nome Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Nome Alaska.