How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Tanaina Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Tanaina AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tanaina AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Tanaina AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Tanaina AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Tanaina AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now 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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Tanaina AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very 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 all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Tanaina AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Tanaina AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tanaina AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Tanaina AK health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only 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, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tanaina 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 around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Tanaina Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tanaina Alaska.