How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Tanaina Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Tanaina AK is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Tanaina AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Tanaina AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Tanaina AK employers require certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Tanaina AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). 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 choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Tanaina AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Tanaina AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Tanaina AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Tanaina AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tanaina AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Tanaina AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tanaina AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate 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 even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and 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 Right Tanaina Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tanaina Alaska.