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How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Steele Creek Alaska

Steele Creek Alaska phlebotomist drawing blood from patient's armChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Steele Creek AK is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

Phlebotomist Work Summary

Steele Creek Alaska phlebotomy technician examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Steele Creek AK labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Steele Creek AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

Steele Creek Alaska phlebotomy technician examining a blood sampleThere are essentially 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 provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Steele Creek AK employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

sample of blood in test tube Steele Creek AlaskaTo begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Steele Creek AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want 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 Steele Creek AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Steele Creek AK job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Steele Creek AK clinics or hospitals 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Steele Creek AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Steele Creek AK medical community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Steele Creek AK, check that 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Learn More About Steele Creek Phlebotomist Classes

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Steele Creek AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Choose the Best Steele Creek Phlebotomy Course

Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Steele Creek Alaska.


 

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