How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Anchorage AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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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 definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Anchorage AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anchorage AK labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Anchorage AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Anchorage AK employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Anchorage AK students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Anchorage AK in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very 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 all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school 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 exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anchorage AK job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Anchorage AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anchorage AK healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anchorage AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Evening Phlebotomy Certificate Programs Near Me Anchorage Alaska
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Evening Phlebotomy Certificate Programs Near Me and to get more information regarding Free Information on Best Phlebotomy Certificate Courses Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anchorage AK.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alaska Locations
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu; Russian: Анкоридж) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 291,538 residents in 2018, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40% of the state's population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. The Anchorage metropolitan area, which includes Anchorage and the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 399,148 in 2018, accounting for more than half the state's population. At 1,706 square miles (4,420 km2) of land area, the city is the fourth-largest by area in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, which has 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2).
Anchorage is in Southcentral Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2), encompassing the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
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