How to Choose the Best One Near Eagle River Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Eagle River AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Eagle River AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to 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 may be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Education, 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 under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Eagle River AK employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Eagle River AK students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Eagle River AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Eagle River AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask 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 an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Eagle River AK medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Eagle River Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Eagle River Alaska.