Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School Aniak Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Aniak AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 Aniak AK area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alaska work environments are many and varied, such as Aniak medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Aniak area community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Alaska employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take in Alaska or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Aniak students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might 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 college is important as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the Alaskaschools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective Aniak employers in the job market.
What is the College’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 all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Aniak area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Alaska programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Aniak healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aniak area health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accomodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Aniak, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School Aniak AKMaking certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.