How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Seward AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Seward AK medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact 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. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Seward AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Seward AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting 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 environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Seward AK employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Seward AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain 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 choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Seward AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from 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 exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Seward AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Seward AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Seward AK medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Seward AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Seward AK, make sure 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How To Become A Phlebotomy Seward Alaska
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become A Phlebotomy and to get more information regarding Advanced Phlebotomy Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Seward AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Seward (Alutiiq: Qutalleq) is an incorporated home rule city in Alaska, United States. Located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is situated on Alaska's southern coast, approximately 120 miles by road from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and nearly 1,300 miles from the closest point in the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, Washington.
With a population of 2,693 people as of the 2010 Census, Seward is the fourth-largest city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, behind Kenai, Homer, and the borough seat of Soldotna. The city is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who orchestrated the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 while serving in this position as part of President Andrew Johnson's administration.
Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the historic starting point of the original Iditarod Trail to Interior Alaska, with Mile 0 of the trail marked on the shoreline at the southern end of town.