How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Juneau AK
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Juneau AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Juneau AK laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 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 be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Juneau AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau AK.