If the idea of working as a medical professional without attending college for several years appeals to you, you may enjoy a career as a phlebotomist. Continue reading and get the facts on education and licensure requirements in North Dakota and what a career in phlebotomy entails in terms of employment and wages in North Dakota.
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There are not a lot of requirements for individuals aspiring to become phlebotomists. Phlebotomy education may be found in community colleges, technical schools, learning institutes and some medical centers or hospitals. The curriculum consists of didactic (classroom and lab) and clinical education. Course topics may include medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, first aid/CPR, medical law and ethics, and phlebotomy procedures.
In addition, the student must complete clinical rotations, an externship or an internship to obtain hands-on training performing venipuncture and other phlebotomy procedures as well as learning correct specimen handling. To successfully complete training and become nationally certified, the student must satisfactorily complete a specific number of venipunctures and capillaries. The school may require the student have a background in biology.
Application Process & Costs
The application process for phlebotomist technician programs is relatively simple. Students submit an application with the applicable admission fee and satisfy the admission requirements. Although this may vary by school or college, most phlebotomy programs have similar requirements such as proof of official school transcripts, criminal background check, drug screening, current immunizations and letters of recommendation. Students should also be at least 18 years of age.
The cost of the courses or programs may vary as well. Turtle Mountain Community College offers a 32-week program that costs about $2,450 while Sanford Health offers a 5-week program that costs only about $600. Bismarck State College offers a 2-semester program that costs about $5,172.
Phlebotomy classes and programs may be offered as online programs. Online programs require nothing more than a computer with Internet access. While the classroom portion can be obtained online, students are generally required to make arrangements to complete their clinical component at a local medical facility. Because clinical experience is vital to the training, this education may be offered as hybrid programs but are seldom 100% online programs.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Although North Dakota is one of the dozen or so states that require clinical lab personnel be licensed, phlebotomists are exempt from this law. Just the same, certification can enhance a job resume and improve both employment opportunities and wage potential. Certification can be obtained by passing either a written or oral examination from agencies such as the American Society of Clinical Pathology, National Center for Competency Testing, the National Credentialing Agency for Clinical Laboratory Services or the American Medical Technologists.
To be eligible to take the test, the phlebotomist must show proof that he or she has completed an approved phlebotomy training program, be currently enrolled in a phlebotomy class or have equivalent experience working as a phlebotomist. Applicants must also pay to take the tests. Some programs include certification as part of the curriculum while others only prepare the student to take the test. Phlebotomists must complete continuing education in order to be recertified prior to the renewal period, which is usually one year.
Salary & Job Prospects
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists working in North Dakota earned a mean annual wage of $29,390 as of May 2014. Factors that may affect earnings include certifications earned, years of experience and geographic location. The BLS also predicts phlebotomists can expect a 29 percent growth in employment between 2012 and 2022.