Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Fairbanks Alaska
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Fairbanks AK is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 Fairbanks AK phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Fairbanks AK medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Fairbanks AK, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Fairbanks AK healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national 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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Alaska college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Fairbanks AK schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alaska? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools in Fairbanks AK. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Fairbanks AK area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the Alaska regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any Fairbanks AK phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the Alaska schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fairbanks AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support 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 high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What made you decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being Phlebotomist, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Phlebotomist and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Program near Fairbanks AK
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairbanks AK.
Learn About Fairbanks Alaska
Fairbanks is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2014 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,469, and 2016 estimates put 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.
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