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Become a Phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Juneau AK

Juneau AK phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Juneau AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Juneau AK phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Juneau AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Juneau AK labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Juneau AK employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative 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 elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Juneau AK student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Juneau AK students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Juneau AK phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Juneau AK job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Juneau 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 contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Juneau Alaska

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.