Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Soldotna Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Soldotna AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 researching to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Soldotna AK area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Soldotna AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Soldotna AK junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Soldotna AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Soldotna AK students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the Soldotna AK colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working 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 meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Soldotna AK job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Soldotna AK clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Soldotna AK training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Soldotna AK healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Soldotna healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Soldotna AK medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Soldotna AK, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Soldotna AK?
Soldotna is a home rule city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163, up from 3,759 in 2000. It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.
The city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer. The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's residents and tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city.
In 1947, after World War II, the United States government withdrew a number of townships along Cook Inlet and the lower Kenai River from the Kenai National Moose Range, opening up the area to settlement under the Homestead Act. Veterans of the United States armed services were given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting land and filing for property. Also in that year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was cleared of trees from Cooper Landing to Kenai. The location of present-day Soldotna was selected as the site for the highway's bridge crossing the Kenai River.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Soldotna AK
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Soldotna AK.
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