How to Pick the Best One Near Eagle River Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Eagle River AK is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Eagle River AK labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Eagle River AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Eagle River AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree 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 initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Eagle River AK job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Eagle River AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Eagle River Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eagle River Alaska.