How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Soldotna Alaska
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Soldotna AK is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Soldotna AK labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Soldotna AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Soldotna AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Soldotna AK students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy 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 might have already picked the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Soldotna AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Soldotna AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Soldotna AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Soldotna AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Soldotna AK health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Soldotna AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Soldotna AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like 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 may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Soldotna Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Soldotna Alaska.