How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Anchorage AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short 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 OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Anchorage AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings 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 perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Anchorage AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Anchorage AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Anchorage AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Anchorage AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Anchorage AK in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Anchorage AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Anchorage AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Anchorage AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Anchorage AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anchorage AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Degree Anchorage Alaska
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Degree and to get more information regarding Training For Phlebotomy. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anchorage AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska, located on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 291,538 residents in 2018, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 399,148 in 2018, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles (4,420 km2) of land area, the city is the fourth largest city by area in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, which is 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2) in area.
Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
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