Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Waltham Massachusetts
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Waltham MA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Waltham MA area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Waltham MA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Waltham MA community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Waltham MA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Waltham MA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Waltham MA colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Waltham MA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Waltham MA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Waltham MA training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Waltham MA health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Waltham medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Waltham MA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waltham MA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Waltham MA?
Waltham (/ˈwɔːlθæm/) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, and was an early center for the labor movement as well as a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. The original home of the Boston Manufacturing Company, the city was a prototype for 19th century industrial city planning, spawning what became known as the Waltham-Lowell system of labor and production. The city is now a center for research and higher education, home to Brandeis University and Bentley University. The population was 60,636 at the census in 2010.
Waltham is commonly referred to as Watch City because of its association with the watch industry. Waltham Watch Company opened its factory in Waltham in 1854 and was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company produced over 35 million watches, clocks and instruments before it closed in 1957.
The name of the city is pronounced with the primary stress on the first syllable and a full vowel in the second syllable, /ˈwɔːlθæm/ WAWL-tham, though the name of the Waltham watch was pronounced with a reduced schwa in the second syllable: /ˈwɔːlθəm/. As most would pronounce in the British way, "Walthum", when people came to work in the mills from Nova Scotia, the pronunciation evolved. The "local" version became a phonetic sounding to accommodate French speakers who could not pronounce in the British way.
Waltham was first settled in 1634 as part of Watertown and was officially incorporated as a separate town in 1738. Waltham had no recognizable town center until the 1830s, when the nearby Boston Manufacturing Company gave the town the land that now serves as its central square.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist College near Waltham MA
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Waltham MA.
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