How to Enroll in the Best One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Knik Fairview AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Knik Fairview AK labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Knik Fairview AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Knik Fairview AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 significant 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 online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets 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 phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality 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 unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Knik Fairview AK job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many 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 essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Knik Fairview AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide 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 full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Knik Fairview AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Knik Fairview AK health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Knik Fairview Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Knik Fairview Alaska.