How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Wasilla Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Wasilla AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Wasilla AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Wasilla AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Wasilla AK employers require certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Wasilla AK students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school 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 online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Wasilla AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those 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 reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Wasilla AK hospitals or clinics that you may 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Wasilla AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Wasilla AK health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend 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, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Wasilla AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Wasilla Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Wasilla Alaska.