How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Fairbanks AK
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Fairbanks AK is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fairbanks AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Fairbanks AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Fairbanks AK employers look for certification prior to 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fairbanks AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Fairbanks AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fairbanks Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks AK.