Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Seward Alaska
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Seward AK is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Seward AK area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Seward AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Seward AK community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Seward AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Seward AK students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Seward AK schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 a guarantee of a superior 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 securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Seward AK job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Seward AK hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 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 might signify that the Seward AK training program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Seward AK health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Seward healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Seward AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Seward AK, make certain they are available 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Seward AK?
Seward (Alutiiq: Qutalleq) is an incorporated home rule city in Alaska, United States. Located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is situated on Alaska's southern coast, approximately 120 miles by road from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and nearly 1,300 miles from the closest point in the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, Washington.
With an estimated permanent population of 2,831 people as of 2017, Seward is the fourth-largest city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, behind Kenai, Homer, and the borough seat of Soldotna. The city is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who orchestrated the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 while serving in this position as part of President Andrew Johnson's administration.
Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the historic starting point of the original Iditarod Trail to the Alaskan interior, with Mile 0 of the trail marked on the shoreline at the southern end of town.
In 1793 Alexander Baranov of the Shelikhov-Golikov company (precursor of the Russian-American Company) established a fur trade post on Resurrection Bay where Seward is today, and had a three-masted vessel, the Phoenix, built at the post by James Shields, an English shipwright in Russian service.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy College near Seward AK
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Seward AK.
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