Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Eagle River Alaska
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Eagle River AK. There are numerous training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Eagle River AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Eagle River AK employers require certification prior to employing 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion 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-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Eagle River AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Eagle River AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Eagle River AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Eagle River Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eagle River Alaska.