Practice Makes Perfect

The Healthcare Occupations Center in Lebanon held a phlebotomy program lab Saturday, where students drew blood from volunteers, getting hands-on experience locating veins and using their sterile needles to draw vials of blood from volunteer’s veins. But don’t worry, they’re not keeping your blood for further use – vials will be incinerated at the end of the day.

Phlebotomy technicians are trained professionals who work directly with patients, collecting blood and urine samples to provide to clinical labs. Entry level phlebotomists can expect to make around $19/hr. 

Surrendering your veins to help students learn is so imperative to the learning growth of students within the program. And while it may take bravery to volunteer, the actual act of getting poked is very simple and remarkably painless. Snacks are also provided for volunteers. 

One volunteer and student mother, Martha Debnam, is a retired phlebotomist. She reminisced how her training was quite different; learning to draw from puncturing oranges not live volunteers. Debnam admired the bright lab and students treating their volunteer subjects with care.

Willing participants are checked in and walked through the process as their soon-to-be certified phlebotomist displays their newly acquired skills and professionalism. One of the goals of this lab is that students become more comfortable working with blood and needles, so that they can go on to work in a multitude of medical settings from clinic labs to blood and plasma donation clinics. 

Elyse White, 32, entered the phlebotomy program after a traumatic accident. It was during her recovery that she had the “kindest phlebotomists” and was inspired to pursue her own career. 

“This phlebotomy program is awesome! It takes hard work and practice. The instructors really take the time to help you learn your skills and make it easy to understand. My experience is one I will never forget! I can’t wait to put all that I learned to good use,” said White

Sage McCloskey-Potter, 27, found her phlebotomy career path as a solo parent looking to provide a comfortable future for her family.