How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Kalskag AK is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Kalskag AK medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Kalskag AK laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Kalskag AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Kalskag AK employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Kalskag AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Kalskag AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Kalskag AK job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? 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 along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Kalskag AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Kalskag AK health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Kalskag AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kalskag AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Accelerated Phlebotomy Training Kalskag Alaska
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accelerated Phlebotomy Training and to get more information regarding Certified Phlebotomy Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kalskag AK.
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