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Become a Phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Juneau AK

Juneau AK phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the right phlebotomist school near Juneau AK is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Juneau AK phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including 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 senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Juneau AK labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Juneau AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:

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

There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Juneau Alaska woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Juneau AK phlebotomy schoolsNow 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 selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Juneau AK job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Juneau Alaska

Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. 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 program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau AK.