How to Select the Best Phlebotomy School
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Skwentna AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 then resume our conversation about online schools.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Skwentna AK medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 actually work in Skwentna AK labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Skwentna AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Skwentna AK employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Skwentna AK students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm 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 clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend 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 Skwentna AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Skwentna AK job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Skwentna 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 contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Skwentna AK health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Skwentna AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Skwentna AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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.
Phlebotomy Tech School Skwentna Alaska
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Tech School and to get more information regarding Train As A Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Skwentna AK.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alaska
Skwentna is a census-designated place (CDP) on Iditarod Trail in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 37, down from 111 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 449.7 square miles (1,165 km2), of which, 442.8 square miles (1,147 km2) of it is land and 6.9 square miles (18 km2) of it (1.54%) is water.
As with much of South Central Alaska, Skwentna has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), with long, cold, snowy winters and short, warm summers, although, as is more typical of the Alaska Interior, August averages cooler than June; the town is also located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3, indicating the coldest temperature of the year is typically in the −40 to −30 °F (−40 to −34 °C). In summer, temperatures reach 70 °F (21 °C) on 39 days and 80 °F (27 °C) on 4.6, with an average of 18 nights remaining above 50 °F (10 °C). August through October is the wettest period of the year, while snow typically falls from October to April (rarely May or September), accumulating 119 inches (3.02 m).