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Become a Phlebotomist in Fairbanks Alaska

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Fairbanks AK

Fairbanks AK phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Fairbanks AK is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Fairbanks AK phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fairbanks AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Fairbanks AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Fairbanks AK labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Fairbanks AK employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Fairbanks Alaska student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Fairbanks AK students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may 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 readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fairbanks 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 imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at 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 relationships within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fairbanks Alaska

Fairbanks AK phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks AK.