How to Pick the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Juneau AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Juneau AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Juneau AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Juneau AK students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify 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 online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Juneau AK in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws 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 practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Juneau AK job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Juneau AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Juneau AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Juneau AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly 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 sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Juneau Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Juneau Alaska.