How to Become a Phlebotomist in Oklahoma
Drawing blood is an important part of examinations to monitor health or to diagnose medical problems. To cover this function, many different healthcare settings need phlebotomists. Sometimes called phlebotomy technicians, phlebotomists are medical professionals who take blood from patients for medical tests, blood donations, transfusions or research. The job also involves other tasks such as explaining procedures to patients and helping them feel calmer, preparing and cleaning medical equipment and inputting information to a database.
Requirements for Becoming a Phlebotomist in Oklahoma
Postsecondary education is almost always required to be considered for employment as an Oklahoma phlebotomist. You’ll need a high school diploma or the equivalent to gain admission to training programs in phlebotomy. These specialized programs are offered in community colleges, technical schools and vocational schools and can usually be completed in less than a year.
Training to Become an Oklahoma Phlebotomist
Training programs for phlebotomy careers usually consist of subjects offered in a classroom setting, such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, infection control, specimen processing and safety. This is followed by practical training in a clinical environment. Some of the phlebotomy training programs in Oklahoma include:
- Rose State College. The phlebotomy program at this college located in Midwest City, OK, can be completed in one semester. It consists of eight weeks of classroom training in the Health Sciences Center lab. This is followed by eight weeks of clinical training in a variety of medical settings.
- Mednoc Training Program. Located in Oklahoma City, this college offers a phlebotomy technician program that is 178 hours in length. Students learn a variety of blood collection methods and proper techniques for adults, children and infants. There’s a strict attendance requirement for this program.
- Tulsa Community College. This community college offers a phlebotomy certificate that can be completed in one semester. It’s located in Westminster.
Do You Need Certification to Become a Phlebotomist in Oklahoma?
The state of Oklahoma doesn’t require phlebotomists to obtain certification, but passing a certification exam demonstrates to potential employers that you’re committed to the profession and that you’re well-trained in the needed skills. You’ll need to have completed a training program and have some clinical experience to qualify to take a national certification exam.
Several organizations offer certification exams for phlebotomists, and requirements may vary for each organization. Some organizations that offer phlebotomy certification testing include American Medical Technologists, National Healthcareer Association and National Center for Competency Testing.
Salary and Employment Outlook for Phlebotomists in Oklahoma
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of May 2019, the median annual salary for phlebotomists in the United States was $35,510. Pay can vary based on experience, education and certifications. The salary for phlebotomists in Oklahoma ranged from $29,636 to $36,749 as of July 2020 according to Salary.com.
Job growth in the field of phlebotomy is expected to be higher than average for all occupations. CareerOneStop projects that the job growth in Oklahoma between 2016 and 2026 will be approximately 16 percent.
Your Career as a Phlebotomist in Oklahoma
There are many job opportunities for phlebotomists all over the state of Oklahoma, especially in larger cities such as Oklahoma City and Tulsa. There are often a lot of job opportunities in hospitals, but that’s not the only place you can find work in this field. Phlebotomists also work in doctor’s offices, diagnostic labs and blood donor settings.
Good stamina is helpful in this profession. In some settings, you may have to stand for long periods of time. You may have to work nights, weekends and holidays. You’ll also need good communication skills so that you can communicate what you’re doing and listen to any concerns your patients may have. It’s also helpful to be detail-oriented and compassionate. Working as a phlebotomist is a rewarding way to earn a living, and you’ll be a vital part of any healthcare team.