Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Fairbanks Alaska
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Fairbanks AK is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 considering to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fairbanks AK area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Fairbanks AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Fairbanks AK community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Fairbanks AK employers require certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Fairbanks AK students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program 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 premium education with this means 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.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Fairbanks AK schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alaska? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairbanks AK job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Fairbanks AK clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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. At 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Fairbanks AK training program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Fairbanks AK medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fairbanks health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Fairbanks AK?
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
After some urging by James Wickersham, who later moved the seat of the Third Division court from Eagle to Fairbanks, the settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy College near Fairbanks AK
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks AK.
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