Picking a Phlebotomist Training Program near Wakefield Massachusetts
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Wakefield MA is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Wakefield MA area labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Wakefield MA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree 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 offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Wakefield MA junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Wakefield MA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Wakefield MA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college 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 obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Wakefield MA schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Wakefield MA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Wakefield MA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Wakefield MA training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Wakefield MA medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Wakefield health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Wakefield MA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wakefield MA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Wakefield MA?
Wakefield is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the Greater Boston metropolitan area,incorporated in 1812 and located about 12.5 mi (20.1 km) north-northwest of Downtown Boston. The 73rd most populous municipality in Massachusetts, Wakefield's population was 24,932 at the 2010 census.
Wakefield was first settled in 1638 and was originally known as Lynn Village. It officially separated from Lynn and incorporated as Reading in 1644 when the first church (First Parish Congregational Church) and the first mill were established. This first corn mill was built on the Mill River on Water Street, and later small saw mills were built on the Mill River and the Saugus River.
The old parish church became known as the Old or South Parish when in 1713 the North Parish was established. This North Parish later became the town of North Reading. In 1769 the West Parish was established. In 1812 the Old or South Parish of Reading separated from Reading and was officially incorporated as South Reading. At the time it was spelled South Redding, not South Reading.
The railroad was chartered and built in 1844 between Wilmington and Boston. This later became the main line of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The Boston and Maine Foundry was built in 1854 and was later reincorporated as the Smith and Anthony Stove Company. The Boston Ice Company cut and shipped ice from Lake Quannapowitt starting in 1851.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Wakefield MA
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wakefield MA.
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