How to Choose the Best One Near Eagle River Alaska
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Eagle River AK. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Eagle River AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Eagle River AK students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Eagle River AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students 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 also check with some Eagle River AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Eagle River AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, 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 Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain they are offered 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Eagle River Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Eagle River Alaska.