Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Pick the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Juneau AK. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Juneau AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Juneau AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Juneau AK students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 an extensive network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Juneau Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska.