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Become a Phlebotomist in Fairbanks Alaska

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Fairbanks AK

Fairbanks AK phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy training near Fairbanks AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Fairbanks AK phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fairbanks AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Fairbanks AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior 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 working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Fairbanks AK labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Fairbanks AK employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

Fairbanks AK student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Fairbanks AK students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fairbanks AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Fairbanks AK phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Fairbanks AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide 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 school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK medical community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fairbanks Alaska

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairbanks AK.