Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Juneau AK is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to research and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Juneau AK employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working 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 enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Juneau 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 contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Juneau Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska.