How to Find the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Knik Fairview AK. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. 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 assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Knik Fairview AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Knik Fairview AK employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Knik Fairview AK students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium 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 best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Knik Fairview AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Knik Fairview AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Knik Fairview AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Knik Fairview AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Knik Fairview AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Knik Fairview Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Knik Fairview Alaska.