How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Valdez Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Valdez AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Valdez AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Valdez AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Valdez AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Valdez AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Valdez AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Valdez AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Valdez AK clinics or hospitals 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Valdez AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Valdez AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Valdez AK, check that they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Valdez AK medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected 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 could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Valdez Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Valdez Alaska.