Phlebotomy, the practice of drawing blood for lab testing, transfusion or donation purposes, is an exciting career and is becoming increasingly popular with people looking to enter the medical field. As the population continues to grow in the United States, the demand for qualified phlebotomy technicians also increases. Workplaces for phlebotomists range from large hospitals to private practices and clinics to mobile blood donation sites.
There are a number of community colleges, universities and vocational schools that offer phlebotomy training in Idaho. Students that choose to study phlebotomy at a vocational school or university extension program can enter the field much faster than those that take the traditional community college or university route, but will only receive a certification in phlebotomy through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), rather than a more well-rounded associate’s or bachelor’s degree in medical assisting in which the phlebotomy training is a part of.
The phlebotomy programs of most vocational schools consists of an intensive 90 to 120 hours of classroom instruction, while the phlebotomy portion of community college or university’s medical assisting program runs over the course of an entire semester. Regardless of which type of school a student attends, the curriculum is focused on anatomy and physiology, as well as the technical aspects of the field.
Requirements for Phlebotomists in Idaho
In the United States, only California, Florida, Nevada, Louisiana and Washington require a phlebotomist to be licensed through the state’s Department of Public Health. Though the State of Idaho does not require a phlebotomist to be licensed or certified, but most employers will not consider applicants without certification from an accredited college, university or governing body of pathological research.
Due to the nature of the work involved, phlebotomists in the State of Idaho are subject to pre-employment background checks and drug screenings and must be fully vaccinated for a wide range of blood-borne diseases.
Employment Outlook for Phlebotomists in Idaho
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a phlebotomist in Idaho is $27,790. Though this sounds low for a profession in the medical field, this wage is balanced by the low cost of living in the state. A 2013 CNBC poll ranked Idaho in third place, tied with Kentucky, for the state with the lowest cost of living.
The unemployment rate in Idaho is among the lowest in the country, but the number of employed phlebotomists in the state is low as well, making job openings in the field hard to come by. As of January 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the number of employed phlebotomists in the state at 440. Neighboring Oregon has employs nearly quadruple the number of phlebotomists with an average annual salary nearly $7,000 higher than the Idaho average. Oregon does not require a license from the Department of Public Health. Over the next five years, the need for phlebotomists is expected to grow by upwards of 10 percent, nationwide.
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