Missy Stallings, Phlebotomy Technician graduate, was first connected to her job at K&S Clinical Diagnostics through Melissa Amavisca (a fellow Phlebotomy Technician graduate). Missy said Melissa inspired her through her discussion on available opportunities and the experiences she had in the Phlebotomy program.
Missy said that after about a month of emailing Melissa, a job opportunity arose: “I got a response back from her asking if I could come in for an interview. Turns out, she was leaving the office because she was moving and needed a replacement. I got the job on the spot.”
Missy gives credit to CCPE for the networking opportunity that paved the way for her eventual dream job. She started out as the lab manager at K&S Clinical Diagnostics. As a lab manager, she handled clients, orders, and set up meetings with consultants and prospective clientele. Through the Phlebotomy program, she was able to expand her knowledge and become an official licensed LC/MS (liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry) operator at the same lab.
Missy explained that a LC/MS is an instrument that runs samples of all kinds for toxicology. At K&S, she specifically deals with therapeutic and recreational drug testing. As an official LC/MS operator, she is responsible for preparing samples, running the machine and, through prepared methods, determining what drugs may or may not be present in a person’s system.
Missy was recently promoted to toxicology lab assistant. Her responsibilities include assisting the main toxicologist with running samples they receive from clients, mainly consisting of clinical doctors offices. Missy assists with making sure all calculations and samples are permissible. She said, “It is amazing to be able to work with such machines that are able to do things that were unspeakable just 50 years ago when everything was done manually.”
Looking back on her experience in the Phlebotomy program, Missy said it was a great experience. She felt excited to attend classes to learn from teachers who answered all questions and treated every student with professionalism.
“It provided a lot of confidence in our lab sessions, which were intimidating at first, but before you knew it we were all doing the motions as second nature,” she said.
Before getting involved with the Phlebotomy program, Missy’s previous schooling was in secondary education. However, after deciding it was not the right field for her, she followed her gut and strived for a medical career.
Missy carefully chose KSU after doing research on other schools. After reading reviews and meeting with counselors, she felt that the programs worked better with her schedule, leaving her time to work during the day and attend school at night. Missy feels that she made the best choice.
Missy fondly remembers the choices that brought her to CCPE and through the program, all the way to her current job. Although when first switching from secondary Education to a medical career was scary to her, she now reflects on it as the best decision she has ever made.
Words of wisdom that Missy wants to pass onto potential students would be that “even if you are already in the field and looking for more qualifications, KSU knows how to handle any situation you’re in. Phlebotomy specifically was the best choice for me to start out on.”
Missy was able to meet great people, make significant contacts and learn something that she will profit from her whole life. Having the KSU name on her resume helps her to stand out with the credibility of the university.
She said our program provided her with the confidence to pursue her career in the medical field, with teachers willing to help at every step. Missy said, “I cannot thank them enough for all of the help they provided me throughout my courses there.”