Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Fairbanks AK. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Fairbanks AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Fairbanks 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Fairbanks AK students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 selected 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 important if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Fairbanks AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most 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 Fairbanks AK medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Fairbanks Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks Alaska.