How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Fairbanks AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes 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 including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fairbanks AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, 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 has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fairbanks AK labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Fairbanks AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based 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 drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Fairbanks AK employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps 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 dispel one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fairbanks AK as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fairbanks AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Class Online Fairbanks Alaska
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Class Online and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Major. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairbanks AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 97,121, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though, as of yet, there is not a known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old, with older remains found at deeper levels. From evidence gathered at the site,archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing as fridge temperatures precluded berry gathering . In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back well over 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the Bering Strait land bridge in deep antiquity.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.