How to Enroll in the Best One Near Fairbanks Alaska
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Fairbanks AK. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Fairbanks AK employers require 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact 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? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fairbanks AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks 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 also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Fairbanks Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairbanks Alaska.