Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Whittier Alaska
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Whittier AK is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 researching to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Whittier AK area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Whittier AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Whittier AK junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Whittier AK employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Whittier AK students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose 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 premium 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 option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might 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 opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the Whittier AK programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Whittier AK job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all colleges 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Whittier AK hospitals or clinics that you might 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Whittier AK training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Whittier AK medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Whittier health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Whittier AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Whittier AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Whittier AK?
Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. At the 2010 census the population was 220, up from 182 in 2000. The 2016 estimate was 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.
The region occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the gold rush. The nearby Whittier glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name as well.
During World War II, the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943 and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.
The two buildings that dominate the town were built after World War II. The 14-story Hodge Building (renamed Begich Towers) was completed in 1957 and contains 150 two- and three-bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units. Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this high-rise. The Whittier School was connected by a tunnel at the base of the west tower so students could safely access school on days with bad weather. The building was named in honor of Colonel Walter William Hodge, who was a civil engineer and the commanding officer of 93rd Engineer Regiment on the Alcan Highway.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Whittier AK
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Whittier 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.