Massachusetts | Phlebotomy Classes – Training

The small-but-densely populated state of Massachusetts is one of the quintessential East Coast states, full of charm and rich in history. Massachusetts is also known for having a great health care system, being one of the first states to provide health insurance coverage for its residents before it was a national requirement to do so. Being a state with a robust health care system, there are a number of health care workers that care for patients in Massachusetts. People like doctors, home health aides, nurses, nursing assistants, and phlebotomists are among the various professionals providing care to patients.

If the field of phlebotomy is something that interests you, then you might enjoy reading the information below. This page is going to cover some general and state-specific information about the field, training, and other aspects of the career. In addition to that, you’ll see that the last section contains some general information about where you might be able to track down phlebotomy training or classes in Massachusetts, such as local community colleges and other schools.

General Information About Phlebotomy: Training & Other Details

Imparting blood-drawing skills and knowledge of phlebotomy in order to produce successful phlebotomy technicians is the main focus of phlebotomy training. Usually, there are a few different ways that a phlebotomy training course may do this: practical instruction, classroom instruction, and hands-on experience.

Teaching the practical techniques of venipuncture (extracting blood from veins) and dermal puncture (extracting blood by pricking the skin) typically constitute the most important part of phlebotomy training. These techniques are the two main ways that phlebotomists draw blood. Venipuncture is the technique that  comes to mind for many people when they think about phlebotomy; a needle designed to draw out blood is inserted into a vein (often in the inside of the elbow), and blood is drawn into a collection bag or tube. Dermal puncture, also known as pin pricking, is an additional method of drawing blood; with this technique, a needle pierces the skin of the patient and is removed. A minimal amount of blood is then squeezed out and collected by the phlebotomist. This often takes place on the fingertip, although this technique is also often used on the heel of a newborn baby.

Other related skills that might be taught during the course of a phlebotomy training class in might include first aid, CPR/AED usage, and difficult draws. A difficult blood draw is one that creates a challenge for a phlebotomy technician, often times for a physical or psychological reason. For example, attempting to draw blood from a person who is severely needle-phobic can be very challenging due to the patient’s psychological state. Trying to draw blood from a squirming newborn can also pose a challenge due to the physical size of the newborn’s veins, as well as the inability of a newborn to understand instructions to remain still.

Topics included in classroom instruction may include learning about the history of the field, related medical information (such as terminology), and general anatomy of various systems (such as the circulatory system). Other topics may be covered, too.

Practical experience might be gained through a laboratory section, where students can be closely supervised as they practice the skills they have learned on each other or mannequins designed for phlebotomy instruction. Real-world experience may be gained through outside participation in an externship (not always available at all schools), which might take place at a hospital, blood donation center, another type of medical setting. Not all courses may provide the same content or opportunities, and this can obviously vary among courses and schools.

Duties & Responsibilities of Phlebotomists: Massachusetts

The main job duty of phlebotomists in Massachusetts (and other states), is typically to draw blood, usually through venipuncture or dermal puncture. However, there are other duties that may be required, as well. Some of these might include things like:

  • Spending time with patients to explain the procedure
  • Checking and verifying patient information labels on blood samples for accuracy
  • Reporting and recording patient data
  • Using computers for various tasks
  • Preparing patient blood samples for transport
  • Transporting blood samples
  • Applying first aid

Other duties not listed may be required, as well. Duties may vary based on employer and location; phlebotomists in blood banks may have differing job duties than phlebotomists at doctor’s offices, for instance.

Certification Information for Massachusetts Phlebotomists

In Massachusetts, phlebotomists are not specifically required to carry a license or certification. There are also no federal or national requirements for phlebotomists. But, national phlebotomist certification is available through several private phlebotomy certification organizations or agencies. Many employers may also require a national phlebotomy certification in order to maintain a basic level of knowledge, competency, preparedness and skill across the board for their employees.

If you want to become certified as a phlebotomy technician, you might be able to obtain a certification from the phlebotomy training course you decide to take. This is because some training courses might include certification via the course, but it’s also important to understand that some do not. If you choose a course that doesn’t include it, you should check first with one of the national certification agencies to make sure that the course meets their requirements, otherwise you could end up taking a course that doesn’t count toward getting a certification. In other words, you might learn the phlebotomy skills you need in a particular course, but one of various the national certification agencies might not recognize it as counting toward their certification due to particular standards and requirement they might have in place.

As an example, let’s say that you’re interested in getting a national certification from NCCT, the National Center for Competency Testing; one of the larger private certification agencies. Before taking a local course, it’s a wise idea to get in touch with them first and make sure that it counts toward their certification. This way, you won’t end up taking a course locally only to find out that it’s not recognized by NCCT (or whichever organization you’d like to be certified by). If they say the the course you’re planning to take isn’t on their list of recognized courses, then they might be able to point you in the direction of one that is.  The main thing to understand here is not all courses have the option of national certification via their course, and not all courses are approved by all of the certification agencies, which means it’s  important to do some checking into things first to make sure that you find a course that meets your needs and aligns with your goals, if your goal is to become nationally certified.

Individual requirements for national phlebotomy certification may vary from one agency to another too. Some of the requirements they might have may already be the same as the requirements to participate in a local training course. As an example, you might be required to have graduated high school, and possibly  have other certifications or skills, like CPR. Others may go beyond that, which might include requirements like  completing a specific amount lab time, blood draws, or even externship hours (but again, externships aren’t always available with all courses). Beyond that, you might need to pass a one or more written tests, or satisfy other requirements.

For people who’ve working in medical fields before like nursing, or emergency medicine (EMT) and have drawn blood or inserted IVs, it’s possible that there might be fast track options for certification. If you think you have experience like this and might be a fit for something similar, you should contact whichever certification agency you’re interested in getting a certification from in order to find out if they offer an option like this, and if they do in fact offer this, if you’re eligible for consideration.

Massachusetts: Schools – Organizations – Colleges

Read below to see a list of organizations and schools potentially offering phlebotomy technician training classes or courses.

Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts
139 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 274-5200

Cape Cod Community College
2240 Iyannough Rd, West Barnstable, MA 02668
(508) 362-2131

Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129
(617) 228-2000

Quinsigamond Community College
670 West Boylston St, Worcester 01606
(508) 853-2300

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000

North Shore Community College
1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 762-4000

Massasoit Community College
49 Union St, Middleborough, MA 02346
(508) 588-9100