Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Best One Near Eagle River Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Eagle River AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Eagle River AK medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Eagle River AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Eagle River AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree 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 numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Eagle River AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 large network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Eagle River Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eagle River Alaska.