How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Wasilla Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Wasilla AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 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 training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Wasilla AK labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Wasilla AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Wasilla AK employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps 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 misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Wasilla AK students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college 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 means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 Wasilla AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program 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 agencies. 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 desirable to potential employers in the Wasilla AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Wasilla AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Wasilla AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Wasilla AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wasilla AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Wasilla AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Wasilla Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Wasilla Alaska.