How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Steele Creek Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Steele Creek AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Steele Creek AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Steele Creek AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two 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 provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Steele Creek AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Steele Creek AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is important 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 phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have 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 prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Steele Creek AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Steele Creek AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Steele Creek AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Steele Creek AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Steele Creek AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become 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 profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Steele Creek Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Steele Creek Alaska.