How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Wasilla Alaska
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Wasilla AK is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Wasilla AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Wasilla AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Wasilla AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Wasilla AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type 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 Wasilla AK as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 a number of 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Wasilla AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Wasilla AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Wasilla AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wasilla AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable 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 tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Wasilla Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wasilla Alaska.