Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Fairbanks AK. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out 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 supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fairbanks AK laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Fairbanks AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy 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 considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fairbanks AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. 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, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Fairbanks Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks Alaska.