How to Become a Phlebotomist in Oklahoma

There is much interest in the fast-growing field of phlebotomy. It is a great way to get a foot in the door of the medical field. It allows you to learn the ropes and see if you’d like to continue on in the health profession. There are several important facts to consider when you decide to become a phlebotomist in Oklahoma.

What is a phlebotomist?

A phlebotomist is one who is skilled in the practice of phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is the science of safely removing blood from a manufactured opening in a vein for diagnostic purposes or to be donated via transfusion. A phlebotomist is considered one of the first in line during the investigative process to discover the reasons a patient may have become ill. Therefore, the work of a phlebotomist is very important and depends upon a high level of skill to ensure that the blood specimens are collected and stored in a manner that prevents any contamination that could alter test results.

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What is a day like for a phlebotomist?

This largely depends upon where you work. If you take a position at an independent laboratory, you will like be drawing blood for people needing the required blood work done for employers. Some of the patients might be students needing tests for school and sports physicals. Your hours will normally coincide with regular business hours. The majority of test sites are closed on the weekends. In many labs you will be responsible for keeping your work and patient area sterilized and neat, as well as ordering supplies.

If you are employed by a hospital, your duties will be the same with a few additions. Not all of the patients will be ambulatory, therefore you may have to load your equipment (vials, needles, cotton swabs, etc.) onto a rolling cart and go to the specified patients’ bedsides to collect the specimens. Unlike an outside laboratory, hospital labs never close, so you must be prepared to work rotating shifts if asked.

What are the education requirements?

It is necessary to have a high school diploma or GED in order to sign up for training as a phlebotomist. After that, you enroll in an accredited phlebotomy training program like the one offered by Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla. You get to choose 16 hours of elective course work, but all trainees must complete the following core curriculum:

HSPC 1234 Phlebotomy Practicum
HSPC 1344 Comprehensive Phlebotomy

The courses that you are free to select from to complete your noncompulsory courses are:

•CIT 1103 Intro to Computers, or •CIT 1093 Microcomputer Applications
•HSBC 1224 Intro to Clinical Micro
•ENGL 1113 English Comp I
•PSYC 1113 Intro to Psychology
•HSBC 1141 CPR
•HSCL 1103 Intro to Medical Laboratory
•HSBC 1104 Anatomy and Physiology

Once the classroom clinics are completed, the student must complete 160 hours of practical internships with live patients in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or any facility that offers laboratory service. You can complete your Phlebotomy certificate program in two semesters of full-time attendance.

What other schools offer phlebotomy training?

In addition to Rose State College, there are several other accredited schools that offer specialized phlebotomy training and certification:

Kaplan University
High Plains Technology Center
Chisholm Trail Technology Center

While in some institutions of higher learning the names of the courses might be a little different, the basic courses of study in all of the programs involve the same content as the classes listed above.

How much will it cost?

Allowing room for some fluctuation in the numbers, the approximate funding needed to become a phlebotomist is $1742.00 per semester, for in-state tuition. In addition to books and laboratory fees, this total covers parking; background checks and drug screenings; Hepatitis B shots and lab coats.

Are phlebotomists required to be certified?

As a phlebotomist, you are required to be certificated through study at a school that is properly authorized. After finishing and receiving your certificate in Phlebotomy, you do not need to go any further in order to obtain employment. However, you do increase your earning potential if you take and pass the exam to be listed on the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Registry.

How much do phlebotomists earn?

Although the minimum requirements to be hired in this occupation are senior high graduation and fulfillment of an authorized phlebotomy training program, you will definitely command a higher wage the more training you attain. Phlebotomists just starting out in Oklahoma start at $11.50 per hour in most of the larger cities. Depending on time on the job and educational level, some employees earn as much as $17.70 per hour.