In Nevada, as hard as it is to believe by many out-of-staters, there are other careers besides those in the casinos. One growing field is phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood from patients. Phlebotomists are also responsible for taking blood samples to laboratories for testing. As a phlebotomist, you will be an important member of any medical team.
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The State of Nevada requires all phlebotomists to be licensed. In order to be licensed in Nevada, phlebotomists must complete a phlebotomy certificate program, also known as a lab assistant program. Before a student can begin her phlebotomy training, she must meet some minimal requirements, which include possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent, pass a background check, and be up-to-date with all immunizations.
The length of each program may vary, but most accredited programs can last six weeks up to four months. During the program, a student will complete a minimum of 42 hours of in-class training as well as 120 hours of clinical training.
Upon completion of a phlebotomy education, a student will receive a phlebotomy certificate and will be eligible to sit for the Phlebotomy Technician national certification exam. After a student passes this exam, she will be able to apply for a Nevada license.
Application Process & Costs
The application process for a Phlebotomy program will vary according to each institution. A detailed explanation of its application process should be on the institution’s webpage.
For example, in order to apply to the phlebotomy program at the College of Southern Nevada, a student must have already completed Math 95 as well as English 100, 101, or 113 with a “C” or better. A student who has completed these classes will not be required to take any additional placement exams. However, students who have not completed these courses are still able to apply as long as they pass the CSN Math and English Placement Tests.
Once students have completed the necessary prerequisites and application, they must wait to be contacted by the Phlebotomy Program. Once contacted, they will be given further instructions, which includes attending a mandatory orientation. After attending orientation, the students will be able to register for their phlebotomy courses. After calculating tuition and fees, the total cost of attendance for the Phlebotomy program at CSN is approximately $2,000.
Depending on the program you select, the total cost of attendance can range anywhere from approximately $1,000 plus the separate purchase of medical insurance at Truckee Meadows Community College in Northern Nevada to $13,500 at Northwest Career College in Southern Nevada.
Although the convenience of an online education is desirable, accredited phlebotomy courses in Nevada are not offered online. Since the study of phlebotomy is the drawing of blood from live patients, a phlebotomy certificate requires hands on, clinical experience, which cannot be completed online. However, if you are interested in online courses, ask your institution if it offers online versions of the theory courses before you decide to enroll.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Once you have your Nevada License, you must renew it every two years through a continuing education program.
Salary & Job Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for phlebotomists is expected to grow in the coming years. This may be due in part to the continuous development of new techniques and technology, as well as population growth.
Because of this anticipated need, the annual income may increase. However, today a phlebotomist’s expected hourly wage can range from $8.81 to $21.81, with an annual salary of approximately $30,000 per year in Nevada.