Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Right One Near Eagle River Alaska
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Eagle River AK. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Eagle River AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Eagle River AK employers look for certification before 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 some states that do require 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 select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Eagle River AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 Eagle River AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, 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 Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide 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 total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added 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 Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to 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, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Eagle River Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Eagle River Alaska.