How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Palmer Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Palmer AK is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Palmer AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Palmer AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Palmer AK employers require certification before hiring 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Palmer AK students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Palmer AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Palmer AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 imperative to check the reputations of all 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Palmer AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Palmer AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting 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 rate 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 Palmer AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Palmer AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Palmer AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood 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 don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Palmer Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Palmer Alaska.