Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
A critical first step one must take to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Anchorage AK. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Anchorage AK employers require certification before employing 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Anchorage AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Anchorage AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Anchorage AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Anchorage AK clinics or hospitals 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anchorage AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Anchorage AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Anchorage Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anchorage Alaska.