How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Homer AK is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many 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 naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Homer AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right 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 expected to work weekends, nights 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Homer AK labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Homer AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Homer AK employers require certification before 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Homer AK students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Homer AK as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets 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 program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Homer AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Homer AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at 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 Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Homer AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Homer AK health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Homer AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed 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 Long Is A Phlebotomy Course Homer Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long Is A Phlebotomy Course and to get more information regarding Best Phlebotomy Training. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Homer AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.