How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sterling Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Sterling AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior 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 location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sterling AK laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Sterling AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Sterling AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Sterling AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Sterling AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sterling AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Sterling AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sterling AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sterling AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sterling AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Sterling AK medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Sterling Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical 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 superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sterling Alaska.