How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Saint Paul Island AK is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Saint Paul Island AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Saint Paul Island AK laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Saint Paul Island AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Saint Paul Island AK employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Saint Paul Island AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Saint Paul Island AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. 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. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several 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 may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Saint Paul Island AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Saint Paul Island 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 check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Saint Paul Island AK healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Saint Paul Island AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Saint Paul Island AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Blood Taking Courses Saint Paul Island Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Blood Taking Courses and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Technician Training. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Saint Paul Island AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Saint Paul Island (Alaska)
Saint Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands, a group of four Alaskan volcanic islands located in the Bering Sea between the United States and Russia. The city of St. Paul is the only residential area on the island. The three nearest islands to Saint Paul Island are Otter Island to the southwest, Saint George slightly to the south, and Walrus Island to the east.
St. Paul Island has a land area of 40 square miles (100 km2). St. Paul Island currently has one school (K-12, 100 students), one post office, one bar, one small store, and one church (the Russian Orthodox Sts. Peter and Paul Church), which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Saint Paul is the largest of the Pribilof Islands and lies the farthest north. With a width of 7.66 mi (12.33 km) at its widest point and a length of 13.5 mi (21.7 km) on its longest axis (which runs from northeast to southwest), it has a total area of 43 sq mi (110 km2). Volcanic in origin, Saint Paul features a number of cinder cones and volcanic craters in its interior. The highest of these, Rush Hill, rises to 665 ft (203 m) on the island's western shore, though most of the upland areas average less than 150 ft (46 m) in elevation. Most of the island is a low-lying mix of rocky plateaus and valleys, with some of the valleys holding freshwater ponds. Much of its 45.5 mi (73.2 km) of shoreline is rugged and rocky, rising to sheer cliffs at several headlands, though long sandy beaches backed by shifting sand dunes flank a number of shallow bays.