How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Galena AK is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Galena AK medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Galena AK labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Galena AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Galena AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Galena AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 Galena AK as well as 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 selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium 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 securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Galena AK job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Galena AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Galena AK medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Galena AK medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Galena AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Accredited Phlebotomy Schools Galena Alaska
Making sure that you pick 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 go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Phlebotomy Schools and to get more information regarding Where Can I Take A Phlebotomy Course. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Galena AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Galena (/ɡəˈliːnə/) (Notaalee Denh in Koyukon) is a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 470, with a 2016 estimate of 488 inhabitants. Galena was established in 1918, and a military airfield was built adjacent to the city during World War II. The city was incorporated in 1971.
The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer many families floated on rafts to the Yukon River to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919.
In 1941 and 1942, during World War II, a military air field was built adjacent to the civilian airport, and the two facilities shared the runway and flight line facilities. This air field was designated Galena Air Force Station shortly after the split of the United States Air Force from the United States Army, which occurred as a result of the National Security Act of 1947. During the 1950s, the construction of additional military facilities at Galena and the nearby Campion Air Force Station, in support of Galena's mission as a forward operating base under the auspices of the 5072nd Air Base Group, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, provided improvements to the airport and the local infrastructure, causing economic growth for the area.