Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Juneau AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Juneau AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish 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 Juneau AK as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Juneau AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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. As 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Juneau Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Juneau Alaska.