Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Unalaska Alaska
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Unalaska AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Unalaska AK area labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Unalaska AK hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Unalaska AK community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Unalaska AK employers require certification prior to employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Unalaska AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the Unalaska AK schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered 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. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Unalaska AK job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Unalaska AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the Unalaska AK training program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Unalaska AK medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Unalaska health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Unalaska AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Unalaska AK, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Unalaska AK?
Unalaska (Aleut: Iluulux̂) is the chief center of population in the Aleutian Islands. The city is in the Aleutians West Census Area, a regional component of the Unorganized Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The population was 4,376 at the 2010 census, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska is the second largest city in the Unorganized Borough, behind Bethel.
The Aleut or Unangan people have lived on Unalaska Island for thousands of years. The Unangan, who were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, named it "Ounalashka", meaning "near the peninsula". The regional native corporation has adopted this moniker, and is known as the Ounalashka Corporation. The Russian fur trade reached Unalaska when Stepan Glotov and his crew arrived on August 1, 1759. Natives, Russians and their descendants comprised most of the community's population until the mid-20th century, when the involvement of the United States in World War II led to a large-scale influx of people and construction of buildings all along the strategically located Aleutians.
Almost all of the community's port facilities are on Amaknak Island, better known as Dutch Harbor or just "Dutch". It is the largest fisheries port in the U.S. by volume caught. It includes Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army, a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Dutch Harbor lies within the city limits of Unalaska and is connected to Unalaska by a bridge. Amaknak Island is home to almost 59 percent of the city's population, although it has less than 3 percent of its land area.
The island of Unalaska was first inhabited by the Aleut people, who named it "Ounalashka", meaning: "Near the Peninsula". They developed an intricate and complex society long before their first contact with the Russian fur traders who would document their existence.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Unalaska AK
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Unalaska AK.
Other Cool Cities in Alaska