Selecting a Phlebotomist School near North Pole Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near North Pole AK is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in North Pole AK area laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including North Pole AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic 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, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at North Pole AK junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many North Pole AK employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many North Pole AK students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the North Pole AK schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the North Pole AK job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some North Pole AK hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the North Pole AK training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with North Pole AK health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local North Pole medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help 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 high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the North Pole AK healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Pole AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near North Pole AK?
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a small city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2016 United States Census, the city had a population of 2,232, up from 1,570 in 2000.
The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole and 125 miles (200 km) south of the Arctic Circle.
The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole is home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, is a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.
While the real North Pole has no terra firma many travelers discovered this town as an ideal way to finally visit the home of Santa Claus. This revelation made this small town in Alaska a must visit during the holidays causing the town to create more and more Santa Claus themed attractions. Its biggest attraction is a gift shop named Santa Claus House, the modern-day incarnation of a trading post established in the town's early days. The Santa Claus House is known for the world's largest fiberglass statue of Santa Claus outside.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near North Pole AK
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in North Pole AK.
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A handful of states require certification as well, which generally entails not only completing an accredited program from a phlebotomy school, but also gaining some clinical experience (e.g., externship), and then taking a certification exam involving a written portion and a practical component to demonstrate efficacy at drawing blood.