How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Soldotna Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Soldotna AK is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Soldotna AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Soldotna AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation 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 Soldotna AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Soldotna AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Soldotna AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Soldotna AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Soldotna AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Soldotna AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Soldotna AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Soldotna 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. 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Soldotna AK medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Soldotna Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Soldotna Alaska.