How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Juneau AK
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Juneau AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Juneau AK labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Juneau AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Juneau AK employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Juneau Alaska
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau AK.