How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Juneau AK
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Juneau AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may 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 in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Juneau AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Juneau AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter 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 may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some 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 check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Juneau AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges 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 positions, 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 Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.