How to Choose the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
A critical first step you must take to enter the gratifying healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Juneau AK. There are many training programs available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools 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 correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Juneau AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Juneau AK employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general understanding 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive 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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Juneau AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide 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 college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to 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 part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Juneau Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska.