How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Juneau AK
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Juneau AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using 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 are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Juneau AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares 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 regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates 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 a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.