How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Juneau AK
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Juneau AK is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending 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 solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing 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, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Juneau AK employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies 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-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take 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. Finally, graduating 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 in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Juneau AK hospitals or clinics 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along 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 school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.