How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Winchester MA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Winchester MA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Winchester MA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Winchester MA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type 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 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 setting would be collecting 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 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Winchester MA employers require certification prior to 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Winchester MA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Winchester MA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working 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 phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Winchester MA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Winchester MA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Winchester MA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Winchester MA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Winchester MA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Becoming A Phlebotomy Technician Winchester Massachusetts
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Becoming A Phlebotomy Technician and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Schools Online. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Winchester MA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Massachusetts
Winchester is a small suburban town located 8.2 miles north of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States in Middlesex County. It is the 7th wealthiest municipality in Massachusetts and functions largely as a bedroom community for professionals who work in the greater Boston area. The population was 21,374 at the 2010 United States Census.
The land on which Winchester now sits was purchased from Native Americans by representatives of the settlement of Charlestown in 1639, and the area was first settled by Europeans in 1640. In the early years of the settlement, the area was known informally as Waterfield, a reference to its many ponds and to the river which bisected the central village. In its second century, the area was referred to as Black Horse Village, after the busy tavern and hostelry in its center.
Until the middle of the 19th century, parts of Arlington, Medford, Cambridge, and Woburn comprised what is now Winchester. The movement toward incorporation of what, by this time, was called South Woburn was likely precipitated by the rise of the Whig Party in Massachusetts (History of Winchester, Massachusetts by H. S. Chapman and Bruce W. Stone, 1936, 1975).
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