How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Juneau AK
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Juneau AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 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 a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Juneau AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic 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 phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Juneau AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Juneau AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, 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 an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau AK.