How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Juneau AK
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Juneau AK is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select 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 Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 actually work in Juneau AK labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Juneau AK employers require certification prior to employing 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Juneau AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of 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 important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Juneau Alaska
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau AK.