Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Girdwood Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Girdwood AK is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Girdwood AK area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Girdwood AK medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Girdwood AK community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Girdwood AK employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Girdwood AK students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Girdwood AK colleges 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 regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Girdwood AK job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Girdwood AK clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 may indicate that the Girdwood AK training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Girdwood AK medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Girdwood medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Girdwood AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Girdwood AK, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Girdwood AK?
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
Originally called "Glacier City," Girdwood was founded as a supply camp for placer gold miners with claims along the creeks feeding Turnagain Arm. It was renamed for Colonel James Girdwood, a Belfast-born, Scots-Irish entrepreneur and linen merchant who staked the first four gold claims along Crow Creek in 1896.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near Girdwood AK
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential 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 go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Girdwood AK.
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