How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Anchorage AK
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Anchorage AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 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 an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Anchorage AK labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Anchorage AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, 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 environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Anchorage AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Anchorage AK students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Anchorage AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies 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 respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Anchorage AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Anchorage AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Anchorage AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Anchorage AK health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anchorage AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Anchorage Alaska
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anchorage AK.