How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Sitka AK is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession 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 vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Sitka AK medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sitka AK labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Sitka AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some 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 only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Sitka AK employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. 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 readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Sitka AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sitka AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sitka AK job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Sitka AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sitka AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Sitka AK medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sitka AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Free Information on Local Phlebotomy Certificate Courses Near Me Sitka Alaska
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Free Information on Local Phlebotomy Certificate Courses Near Me and to get more information regarding Free Information on Online Phlebotomy Colleges Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sitka AK.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alaska Locations
The City and Borough of Sitka (Tlingit: Sheetʼká), formerly Novo-Arkhangelsk, or New Archangel under Russian rule (Russian: Ново-Архангельск or Новоaрхангельск, t Novoarkhangelsk), is a unified city-borough on Baranof Island and the south half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 8,881.
In terms of land area, it is the largest city-borough in the U.S., with a land area of 2,870.3 square miles (7,434 square kilometres) and a total area (including water area) of 4,811.4 square miles (12,461 square kilometres). Urban Sitka, the part usually thought of as the "city" of Sitka, is on the west side of Baranof Island.
The current name Sitka (derived from Sheet’ká, a contraction of the Tlingit Shee At'iká) means "People on the Outside of Baranof Island," whose Tlingit name is Sheet’-ká X'áat'l (here contracted to Shee).