How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Unalaska Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Unalaska AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Unalaska AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Unalaska AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Unalaska AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Unalaska AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Unalaska AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting 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 should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Unalaska AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Unalaska 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Unalaska AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Unalaska AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Unalaska AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Unalaska AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Unalaska Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final 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 school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Unalaska Alaska.