Becoming a Phlebotomist in South Dakota
If you are interested in a career in the medical field, you should consider working as a phlebotomist. Job duties of a phlebotomist include collecting blood from patients for donation, transfusion or to run laboratory tests. They may also collect other specimens such are urine or stool for testing.
Phlebotomists need to be familiar with the tests that the blood will be used for, as specific amounts will be required for different testing purposes. They will also need to be trained in the safe handling of bodily fluids.
Phlebotomists can be found working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, other medical clinics and diagnostic labs. The educational requirements and licensing guidelines for this job vary by state. Keep reading to find out how to become a phlebotomist in South Dakota.
Requirements for Becoming a Phlebotomist in South Dakota
Phlebotomy isn’t regulated on a national or even statewide level, meaning the employer determines what educational and licensing and certification requirements an employee or potential hire must meet. Certification and licensure aren’t mandatory; however, some employers may prefer to hire a certified phlebotomist.
For education, most employers will require that the prospective employee have a high school diploma or GED. On-the-job training may be provided, but completing a post-secondary training program in phlebotomy may make you a more desirable hire.
The employer will also regulate the scope of job tasks that a phlebotomist will handle. Phlebotomists are often supervised by other medical professionals, including nurses and doctors.
Educational Programs in South Dakota
There are a few post-secondary phlebotomy programs in South Dakota. These programs are usually offered at community colleges. Below is an overview of a couple of the programs:
- Lake Area Technical Institute. Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown offers a medical lab tech degree program, which covers phlebotomy training. This program lasts 20 months, and graduates will receive an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree. This program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
- Western Dakota Tech. Western Dakota Tech has a phlebotomy/laboratory assistant program. The two options include a one-semester certificate program and a two-semester diploma program. Both programs offer a combination of instructional teaching and clinical practice. The certificate program can be completed in four months, and the diploma program can be completed in nine to 10 months. Graduates of the program will be prepared to take the national certification exam.
National Phlebotomist Certification
While not required to work in the field, some employers may choose to hire someone who holds certification. Generally, you can obtain this certification by taking and passing an exam. Other prerequisites will vary according to the organization that administers the exam. Most require a high school diploma or GED. Some will require prior work experience. The cost will also depend on the organization. The current leading certifying organization for phlebotomists is The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Other certifying organizations include The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), National Health Career Association (NHCA) and The National Phlebotomy Association (NPA).
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations in South Dakota
Phlebotomy careers are currently experiencing a national growth rate of 23 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The state of South Dakota is experiencing an increase of about 19.2 percent, which is not far behind the national rate.
The national average salary for phlebotomists is $17.54 hourly or $36,480 annually. The average rates for phlebotomists in South Dakota are slightly lower than the national wages, at $13.44 hourly and $27,950 annually. Certified, experienced phlebotomists can make as much as $35,230 annually.
Working as a Phlebotomist in South Dakota
Phlebotomists work in various healthcare settings such as doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, hospitals or laboratories. In South Dakota, you might find work at places like Sandford Health, APPS or Avera Health. Some of the more populated areas like Sioux Falls and Rapid City will probably have the most job opportunities. However, you will most likely be able to find work in any healthcare setting throughout the state.