Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Fairbanks AK is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Fairbanks AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually 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 probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Fairbanks AK employers look for 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Fairbanks AK students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get 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 Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Fairbanks Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairbanks Alaska.