How to Work as a Phlebotomist in Iowa
If you’re interested in a healthcare career that doesn’t require a degree or years of education, consider phlebotomy. A phlebotomist works in a doctor’s office, hospital or lab and draws blood for tests or donations. They must be organized to minimize errors with samples and be able to keep patients calm and comfortable.
In Iowa, there are no official licensing or education requirements, so becoming a phlebotomist is a matter of completing a short, post-secondary training program. This typically takes less than a year and will prepare you to begin working in this growing career.
Steps to Becoming a Phlebotomist in Iowa
There are no laws in Iowa that govern phlebotomists, but most employers have minimum requirements. The typical steps you need to take to begin working in this field include:
- Graduating from high school. Employers will usually only hire candidates with a high school diploma or GED.
- Training in phlebotomy. While some employers may be willing to train you on the job with no experience, most require that you already be trained. The easiest way to do this is to complete a phlebotomy certificate or diploma program at a technical or community college.
- Earning certification. Certification may or may not be required by an employer, but many prefer it. The post-secondary training program should prepare you to pass the exam for national certification through one or more agencies.
Phlebotomy Programs in Iowa
If you live in Iowa, you have a few options for phlebotomy training:
- Des Moines Area Community College. This 13-week program confers a certificate and is available in the fall and spring terms. You will complete coursework in the classroom and engage in a clinical practicum.
- St. Luke’s College. St. Luke’s in Sioux City also offers a phlebotomy certificate. The program includes classroom work and lectures as well as practical experience at local medical centers. Upon successful completion, you will have over 100 hours of experience with 100 venipunctures and 15 dermal punctures.
- Iowa Western Community College. Iowa Western’s program also includes a classroom setting and clinical work. By the end of the program, you will have completed 120 hours of work experience practicing phlebotomy skills in a clinical setting.
Check with employers before applying for jobs to find out if you need a national certification. The state does not require certification, but many employers prefer to hire phlebotomists with this credential. Some employers may require it but be willing to hire you as you work toward passing the exam.
There are several national organizations that certify phlebotomists. All confer certificates through an exam but may also have other requirements such as classroom or clinical hours. The organizations include: American Medical Technologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, National Center for Competency Testing, National Healthcareer Association, and National Phlebotomy Association.
Phlebotomy Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomy is a rapidly growing career. Expect the number of positions available across all states to grow by 23 percent over the next few years. The national average salaries for this career $35,510 per year and $17.07 per hour.
Growth in Iowa for phlebotomy careers is even stronger at over 34 percent. Projections state there will be more than 100 new jobs in the state each year for phlebotomists going forward. Average salaries here are $15.18 per hour and $31,560 per year.
Finding a Phlebotomy Job in Iowa
Once you have completed a training program and are certified in phlebotomy, finding a job in Iowa should not be difficult. Hospitals, medical labs and physician offices all hire these professionals to draw blood.
From a recent set of job listings in Iowa, you can see how many positions are available, who is hiring and where you can land a job: medical screener/phlebotomist, BioLife Plasma Services, Dubuque; medical screener/phlebotomist, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Cedar Falls; laboratory phlebotomist, Washington County Hospital and Clinics, Washington; and phlebotomist I, Genesis Health System, Davenport.