How to Choose the Best One Near Fairbanks Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Fairbanks AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. Quite often the two requirements 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 another consideration as well. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Fairbanks AK employers require 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Fairbanks AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Fairbanks Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairbanks Alaska.