How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Juneau AK
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Juneau AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Juneau AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Juneau AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Juneau AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Juneau Alaska
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. 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 proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.