How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Williamstown MA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Williamstown MA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Williamstown MA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Williamstown MA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Williamstown MA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Williamstown MA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Williamstown MA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Massachusetts? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Williamstown MA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Williamstown MA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Williamstown MA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Williamstown MA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamstown MA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Certified Phlebotomy Schools Williamstown Massachusetts
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Certified Phlebotomy Schools and to get more information regarding Accredited Local Phlebotomy Training. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Williamstown MA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Massachusetts
Williamstown is a town in Berkshire County, in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, United States. It shares a border with Vermont to the north and New York to the west. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,754 at the 2010 census. A college town, it is home to Williams College, the Clark Art Institute and the Tony-awarded Williamstown Theatre Festival, which runs every July and August.
Originally called West Hoosac, the area was first settled in 1749. Prior to this time its position along the Mohawk Trail made it ideal Mohican hunting grounds. Its strategic location bordering Dutch colonies in New York led to its settlement, because it was needed as a buffer to stop the Dutch from encroaching on Massachusetts. Fort West Hoosac, the westernmost blockhouse and stockade in Massachusetts, was built in 1756. The town was incorporated in 1765 as Williamstown according to the will of Col. Ephraim Williams, who was killed in the French and Indian War. He bequeathed a significant sum to the town on the condition that the town would be named after him and that a free school would be established. In 1791 the school opened but only lasted a short time as a free school. It became Williams College in 1793.
The primary industry was agriculture, particularly dairy farming, sheep herding and wool production. Sawmills and gristmills operated by water power at the streams. With the Industrial Revolution larger mills were added, including the Walley Mill and Williamstown Manufacturing Company (Station Mill), both of which produced textiles. The A. Loop & Company (Water Street Mill) produced twine. With the opening of the railroad, tourists arrived. Several inns and hotels were established, including the Idlewild Hotel and Greylock Hotel. In the late 1930s and 1940s, E. Parmelee Prentice and his wife Alta, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, created Mount Hope Farm. With a mansion designed by James Gamble Rogers, it was one of the outstanding experimental farms in the country. Today, it belongs to Williams College, which remains the largest employer in town.