How to Pick the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Knik Fairview AK is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Knik Fairview AK labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Knik Fairview AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Knik Fairview AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Knik Fairview AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Knik Fairview AK job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Knik Fairview AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Knik Fairview AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges 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 college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Knik Fairview AK health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, make sure they are offered 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Knik Fairview Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites 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 choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Knik Fairview Alaska.