How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Homer Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Homer AK is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Homer AK medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Homer AK labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Homer AK hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. 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 each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Homer AK employers require certification before employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Homer AK students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now 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 decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Homer AK in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Homer AK job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Homer AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide 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 program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Homer AK medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Homer AK health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Homer 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. 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
How to Enroll in Phlebotomy Programs Homer Alaska
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How to Enroll in Phlebotomy Programs and to get more information regarding Online Phlebotomist Colleges Near Me. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Homer AK.
More Alaska Bloody Wonderful Locations
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
As with much of South Central Alaska, Homer has a moderate subarctic coastal climate (Köppen Dsc) which causes its weather to be moderate compared to interior Alaska. Winters are snowy and long but not particularly cold, considering the latitude, with the average January high only slightly below freezing. Snow averages 50 inches (127 cm) per season, falling primarily from November through March, with some accumulation in October and April, and rarely in May. Homer receives only about 25 inches of rainfall annually due to the influence of the Chugach Mountains to the southeast which shelter it from the Gulf of Alaska. There are 7 days with a minimum 0 °F (−18 °C) or below annually, and Homer falls in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a. Summers are cool due to the marine influence, with 75 °F (24 °C) maxima or minima remaining at or above 55 °F (13 °C) being extremely rare. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −24 °F (−31 °C) on January 28–29, 1989 up to 81 °F (27 °C) on July 10, 1993.