Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Pick the Best One Near College Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near College AK is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including College AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most College AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomist, including 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 superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some College AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from College AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each 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, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the College AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important 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 students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several College AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local College AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the College AK medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near College AK, make certain they are offered 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed 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.
Choose the Right College Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical 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 contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in College Alaska.