How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Girdwood AK is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Girdwood AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Girdwood AK laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Girdwood AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Girdwood AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Girdwood AK students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Girdwood AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Girdwood AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? 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 investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Girdwood AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Girdwood AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Girdwood AK medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Girdwood AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Training Schools Girdwood Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Schools and to get more information regarding Blood Taking Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Girdwood AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
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