Selecting a Phlebotomist School Whittier Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Whittier AK is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right 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.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Whittier AK area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their Alaska work environments are numerous and varied, such as Whittier hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Whittier area junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Alaska employers require 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take in Alaska or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Whittier students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Alaskacolleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future Whittier employers in the 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 imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates 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 even check with a few Whittier area clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Alaska programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Whittier healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Whittier area healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whittier, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomy Program Whittier AKMaking certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.