How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Juneau AK
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Juneau AK is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Juneau AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Juneau AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams 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 organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Juneau Alaska
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau AK.