How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Fairbanks AK
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Fairbanks AK is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far 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 need to 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 reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Fairbanks AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Fairbanks AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Fairbanks AK employers look for certification before employing 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 few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college 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 receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you 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 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fairbanks Alaska
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, 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 realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks AK.