Top-Rated Phlebotomist Schools in Iowa

Searching for phlebotomist schools in Iowa? Our article cuts through the clutter to provide essential details on program durations, costs, and certifications you can aim for, setting you on a clear path towards becoming a phlebotomy professional in this state.

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Iowa’s Top Phlebotomy Programs: A Comprehensive List

Choosing the right phlebotomy program is a critical step in your journey to becoming a skilled phlebotomist. It’s not just about getting a certificate; it’s about gaining the practical skills and knowledge you need to excel in your new career. Luckily, Iowa is home to several top-rated phlebotomy programs that offer comprehensive training and hands-on clinical experiences.

These programs, which vary in duration from 90 to 144 hours, typically completed within three months, include vital clinical experiences through a clinical practicum to prepare students. Class sizes for these programs usually range from 10-30 students, ensuring a focused educational environment where every student gets the attention they need. 

Iowa Western Community College

Iowa Western Community College is a standout institution offering a comprehensive phlebotomy program. This program requires a prerequisite of a Nurse Aide certification, ensuring that all students have a solid foundation in patient care before they commence their phlebotomy training. The program also requires students to complete 120 hours of clinical experience, providing them with invaluable hands-on skills and experiences.

The college offers the following benefits and requirements:

  • Tuition assistance through the Education 2 Employment initiative for Iowa residents, potentially covering the full cost of the program
  • A stringent dress code reinforcing a professional demeanour
  • Submission of proof of physical exams and vaccinations
  • Passing a background check and drug screening before starting the program

Other Notable Schools

Beyond Iowa Western Community College, several other institutions in Iowa offer high-quality phlebotomy training. Take, for instance, the Phlebotomy Technician Program at Eastern Iowa Community College. This program extends over nine weeks and includes a comprehensive 144-hour training, including clinical experience.

Iowa Valley Continuing Education offers a 90-hour Phlebotomy Technician Certificate Course with an optional clinical experience for individuals who wish to gain hands-on skills in a real-world healthcare setting. St. Luke’s College’s Phlebotomy Certificate Program requires students to perform 100 venipunctures and 15 dermal punctures, ensuring they acquire adequate hands-on experience.

Lastly, Northeast Iowa Community College prepares students for the ASCP Phlebotomy Technician certification exam, combining classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.

Becoming a Phlebotomist in Iowa: Steps to Success

Embarking on your journey to becoming a phlebotomist in Iowa is a decision that can lead you to a rewarding career in healthcare. But what does this journey entail? Let’s delve into the steps you need to take to succeed in this field, starting from acquiring the right education to gaining hands-on clinical experience.

The steps to becoming a phlebotomist in Iowa are as follows:

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Enroll in a phlebotomy training program offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and technical institutions in Iowa.
  3. Although Iowa does not legally require phlebotomists to be certified, many employers prefer certified candidates. It is advisable to obtain certification from a nationally recognized organization.

Educational Requirements

The journey to becoming a phlebotomist in Iowa starts with obtaining a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. Aspiring phlebotomists need to enrol in phlebotomy training classes, and a high school diploma or equivalency is a prerequisite for admission to most of these programs.

In addition to being a high school graduate, it’s beneficial for students to take courses in biology and chemistry. 

Training & Certification

In Iowa, while certification is not a legal requirement to practice phlebotomy, many employers prefer or require job applicants to be certified. A standard phlebotomy training program in Iowa typically comprises 40-80 classroom hours and 20-40 clinical hours, with an emphasis on ensuring the program is state-approved.

To be eligible for certification tests such as the ASCP, applicants must:

  • Complete a phlebotomy program
  • Have one year of experience
  • Perform 30 successful blood draws
  • Complete 10 capillary sticks

Once certified, phlebotomists in Iowa are required to renew their certification periodically through continuing education and development. This continuous learning is key to maintaining standards and advancing one’s career.

Hands-On Clinical Experience

Hands-on clinical experience is a crucial component of phlebotomy training. It provides students with the practical skills they need to perform their duties effectively and competently. Clinical hours are a critical component of phlebotomy programs in Iowa, as they provide students with the hands-on experience necessary for certification and competence in blood draws and other related tasks.

Clinical practicums at local laboratories and healthcare settings allow students to hone their technical skills in blood collection, specimen transport, and processing. 

Job Opportunities for Phlebotomists in Iowa

The employment outlook for phlebotomists in Iowa is certainly promising. Here are some key points:

  • The projected growth rate of 25% from 2014 to 2024
  • The job market for phlebotomists in Iowa is significantly faster than the average growth rate for all occupations
  • Reflects the vital role that phlebotomists play in healthcare and the increasing demand for their services

As for the earnings, nationally, the median pay for phlebotomists is $17.97 per hour or $37,380 per year, with a promising job growth of 22% from 2020 to 2030. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, phlebotomy technicians can expect to earn an average annual salary of around $31,000. With the right training and experience, you could join this growing field and secure a stable career in healthcare.

Hospitals, Clinics, and Private Practices

Phlebotomists are needed in a variety of healthcare settings. From large hospitals to small private practices, the skills of a phlebotomist are in demand. In hospitals, phlebotomists play a vital role in patient care, performing blood draws for tests, transfusions, and research. They also collect blood donations, assist with blood drives, and carry out laboratory work.

In clinics and private practices, phlebotomists often have more direct contact with patients. They may be responsible for explaining procedures to patients, calming nervous patients, and ensuring that all blood samples are correctly labelled and stored. In all these settings, phlebotomists work as part of a team of healthcare professionals, contributing to the overall patient care experience.

Technical Skills

The technical skills required for phlebotomists are extensive and varied. Phlebotomists must master techniques such as venipuncture and skin puncture and be adept in the use of specific medical equipment like vacutainer holders, butterfly needles, and tourniquets. Proper decontamination of puncture sites and disposal of biohazard waste and sharps are critical components of blood collection protocols.

Technical skills for phlebotomists include:

  • Proficient use of specialized equipment such as blood culture bottles, drug screen kits, and legal blood draw kits
  • Understanding the correct order of tube collection to prevent sample contamination and maintain test accuracy
  • Performing blood collection on a variety of patients, including inpatients, infants, and individuals in emergency settings

In addition, phlebotomists need to have observational skills to detect signs of distress or complications in patients during and after blood draws.

Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, phlebotomists need to have excellent soft skills. Some important soft skills for phlebotomists include:

  • Communication skills: to explain procedures to patients, address their concerns, and interact professionally with the rest of the healthcare team.
  • Empathy: to understand and respond to patients who may be anxious or uncomfortable.
  • Patience: to work with patients who may have difficulty with the procedure or be nervous.
  • Attention to detail: to accurately collect and label specimens.
  • Problem-solving skills: to handle unexpected situations or difficult veins.

These soft skills are crucial for phlebotomists to provide quality care and ensure a positive patient experience.

Empathy, compassion, and a positive attitude are essential interpersonal skills for phlebotomists. These skills help to alleviate patient anxiety during blood draws and foster effective collaboration with colleagues. 


Phlebotomy is a rewarding career that offers a unique blend of technical and interpersonal skills. With the right training and attitude, you can become an essential part of a healthcare team, providing a crucial service to patients and healthcare providers alike. In Iowa, many top-rated phlebotomy programs can help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this field.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a fulfilling healthcare career, consider becoming a phlebotomist. Commit to your education, invest in your training, and keep learning and growing professionally. As a phlebotomist, you’ll be able to make a real difference in people’s lives, and that’s a career path worth pursuing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a phlebotomist in Iowa?

It takes between 40-80 in-class hours and 20-40 clinical hours to become a phlebotomist in Iowa, typically with a class size of 10-30 students.

Do you need a phlebotomy license in Iowa?

In Iowa, phlebotomists do not need a state license to work, but obtaining certification is recommended for better job opportunities and pay. Proper training or schooling is necessary to work towards phlebotomy certification.

How many sticks do you need to be a phlebotomist?

To become a phlebotomist, you need to successfully perform 30 venipuncture and 10 capillary sticks on living patients as part of your training, in addition to a high school diploma or GED. This is generally achieved through a phlebotomy training program or 1 year of on-the-job experience within the last 3 years.

Is learning to be a phlebotomist hard?

Learning to be a phlebotomist isn’t difficult, as long as you complete an accredited training program which can take less than a year. However, if you’re sensitive to blood and needles, the job may be challenging.

What are the top phlebotomy programs in Iowa?

You can consider phlebotomy programs at Iowa Western Community College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Iowa Valley Continuing Education, St. Luke’s College, and Northeast Iowa Community College for top options in Iowa.