How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Glennallen AK is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to 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 decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Glennallen AK medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Glennallen AK laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Glennallen AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Glennallen AK employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including 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 supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Glennallen AK students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Glennallen AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part 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 all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting 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 future employers in the Glennallen AK job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Glennallen AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Glennallen AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Glennallen AK medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Glennallen AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomist School Online Glennallen Alaska
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist School Online and to get more information regarding How To Become A Licensed Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glennallen AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
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