Selecting a Phlebotomist Course near Westford Massachusetts
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Westford MA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some Westford MA phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Westford MA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Westford MA, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Westford MA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Massachusetts college is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the Westford MA colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Massachusetts? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Westford MA. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Westford MA local clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Massachusetts regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Westford MA phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the Massachusetts schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Westford MA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Westford MA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westford MA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Want to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What made you select Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Technician and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Best Phlebotomist College near Westford MA
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before 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 select the right college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Westford MA.
Learn About Westford Massachusetts
Westford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,951 at the 2010 census.
Originally a part of neighboring Chelmsford, West Chelmsford soon grew large enough to sustain its own governance, and was officially incorporated as Westford on September 23, 1729.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was said to be the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns. Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War. Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow.
Paul Revere's son attended Westford Academy and a bell cast by Revere graces its lobby today. A weather vane made by Paul Revere sits atop the Abbot Elementary school.
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