How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Steele Creek Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Steele Creek AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick 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 training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Steele Creek AK laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Steele Creek AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Steele Creek AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Steele Creek AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Steele Creek AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Steele Creek AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Steele Creek AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Steele Creek AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Steele Creek AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Steele Creek AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Steele Creek AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Steele Creek Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Steele Creek Alaska.