Phlebotomy Program

Phlebotomy Prerequisites

Immunization Requirements for Course Clinical Externship 

All healthcare workers must be immunized for certain diseases as part of their employment. Students at Iowa Western Community College must have verification of the following immunizations or immunity to the following diseases before registering for the course. Immunization requirements are subject to change and vary depending on clinical assignment.  

  • Hepatitis B:
    Students must have completed the Hepatitis B series before they can register for the Phlebotomy course.  This immunization is a series of three injections. You will need to provide documentation.  Students are responsible for providing this information to the Program Coordinator.  Students who have received only 2 of the Hepatitis B series will be required to sign a waiver before they may attend clinical. 
  • MMR (measles “rubella”, mumps, rubella):
    Students must show proof of at least two MMR immunizations during their lifetime and/or provide lab results that show proof of immunity.
  • Varicella (chickenpox):
    Students must show proof of immunity to Varicella, have a physician’s record of having the disease or proof of immunization.
  • Two-Step Tuberculin Skin Test:
    • How is Two-Step Tuberculin Skin Testing Done?
      • The two-step tuberculin skin test (TST) is used to detect individuals with past tuberculosis (TB) infection who now have diminished skin test reactivity. This procedure will reduce the likelihood that a boosted reaction is later interpreted as a new infection.
    • Four appointment schedule for two-step testing:
      • Visit 1, Day 1: Place the first TST and have the employee return in 48-72 hours for the test to be read.
      • Visit 2, day 2-3: Evaluate, measure, and interpret the TST. Document the millimeters (e.g. 0mm, 4mm, 12mm).
      • Visit 3, day 7-21(minimum of 7 days between Visit 1 and Visit 3): Place the second TST on all employees whose first test was negative using the alternate arm.
      • Visit 4, 48-72 hours after the second test placed: Evaluate, measure, and interpret the TST. Document the millimeters (e.g. 0mm, 4mm, 12mm).

75 Hour Certified Nurse Aide

Students must present a copy of their CNA certificate.

Contact the Program Coordinator if an alternate Health Certificate, License or Degree is noted.

Drug Screen

All students will be required to have a drug screen during the classroom portion of the Phlebotomy course. Students must pass the drug screen to be eligible to attend the clinical for the Phlebotomy Training.  Iowa Western Community College will arrange for the drug screen at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Students will be given contact information for the Occupational Health Department.  Students will pay $35 to Mercy Hospital for the drug screen.

Criminal Background Checks

All students will be required to have criminal background checks prior to the clinical for the Phlebotomy Training. Students will have criminal background checks for the state of Iowa and Nebraska. IWCC will complete the background check. If a student is found to have a history of criminal activity, or founded child or adult abuse, they may be subject to dismissal from the class. 

Phlebotomy Dress Code

Students will be required to clean and neatly dressed to present a professional appearance for class, lab, and clinical. Students must wear scrubs (uniform) and lab coats when working on lab skills during the classroom portion of the course, and when they are at the clinical sites. Scrubs should be clean and pressed.

Appropriate footwear will be required in the lab and clinical area. Closed-toe shoes that are soft-soled, such as white tennis or similar shoes must be worn in the lab and clinical area; no sandals or flip-flops.  Name tags will be issued and must be displayed at all times. Body piercings must be removed and tattoos must be covered with make up or band aids. Hair must be clean and tied back.

Men should keep facial hair trimmed. If a male student wishes to wear a mustache and/or beard, it must be kept clean and well groomed (No five o’clock shadow).

Students are expected to bathe regularly to avoid offensive odor. In addition, students should refrain from excessive use of make-up, perfumes, and/or aftershave cologne. Fingernails need to be clean and at a reasonable length. Reasonable length is defined as 1/8” above the fingertip. You may not wear finger nail polish or acrylic nails. Jewelry should be limited to wedding rings and a wrist watch.

Iowa Western Community College is a nonsmoking campus. If you choose to smoke, please do not come to class, lab, or clinical smelling of cigarettes. 

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About the Program

This course provides an overall review of the most current phlebotomy practices and procedures with an emphasis on the most important competencies in this field. We provide a variety of lectures, discussions, lab exercises, and exams to give our students adequate preparation for the national certification exam. There will be lab time and 120 hours of clinical time to provide you with the opportunity to become skilled and gain the confidence to work as a phlebotomist. Students will be given an opportunity to participate in selecting clinical sites; however, the Program Instructor and Continuing Health Coordinator reserve the right to make the final decision for student assignments to clinical sites. 

The cost includes textbook. Students are responsible for all charges and expenses related to injury/needlestick obtained in class, lab or in the clinical setting.

Program to Include

  • Health care delivery
  • Medical terminology
  • Infection control and safety
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Specimen collection and integrity

Refund Policy

There will be a fee of $300 for all withdrawals 1 month or more before class starts. No refunds for withdrawals less than 1 month before class starts.


  • High school graduate or HISET
  • High school GPA of at least 2.0
  • Certified Nurse Aide Certificate
  • Immunization Records
  • Demonstrate good physical health
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Background check set up by IWCC
  • Drug screen set up by IWCC 

Registration Step-by-Step Process

  1. Gather all the prerequisites
  2. Read dress code
  3. Mail or bring in prerequisites
    1. Academic records (high school or GED transcript)
    2. Completed immunization record form
    3. Copy of CNA certificate
  4. Meet with the Program Coordinator to review program requirements and your prerequisites. An appointment is suggested.
  5. Receive formal acceptance after all prerequisites and interviews completed. 

Primary Textbook

The Complete Textbook of Phlebotomy, 5th Edition by Lynn Hoeltke 
ISBN-13: 9780840022998, ISBN: 0840022999
Pub. Date: January 2012, Publisher: Cengage Learning 


Hollie has worked in the health care field for 20 years. She is a Certified Phlebotomist and licensed practical nurse with intravenous certification. She is currently working as the laboratory specialist at an Omaha lab.   

Career & Salary Information

Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some explain their work to
patients and provide assistance when patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn. A career in phlebotomy is exciting and rewarding. With experience and additional training, some career advancement opportunities are Lead Phlebotomist, Phlebotomy Specialist, Collections Phlebotomy Specialist, Registered Phlebotomy Specialist and Nurse. Employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Median hourly earnings $14.74 per hour. Source Bureau of Labor Statistics.