How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School near Nome Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Nome AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right 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 Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Nome AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required 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 workplaces are many and diverse, such as Nome AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged 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 samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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 working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Nome AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Nome AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Nome AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Nome AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Nome AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way 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 healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Nome AK health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nome AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Nome AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Nome Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Nome Alaska.