Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Choose the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
An important first step one must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Anchorage AK. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another factor you may consider 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. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Anchorage AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Anchorage AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical 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. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Anchorage AK students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects 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 decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Anchorage AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Anchorage AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Anchorage AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Anchorage AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Anchorage AK health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anchorage AK, make certain they are available 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Anchorage Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anchorage Alaska.