Drawing blood from patients might make some people squeamish, but for a group of Woodward Career Technical High School, it’s helping them to prepare for the future.
Nearly 30 students in the school’s phlebotomy program had the opportunity to practice drawing blood during a recent event, “Sticks 4 Kicks,” as they prepare for the Certified National Phlebotomy Exam in April. Passing the exam helps the students obtain jobs as phlebotomist technicians or other entry-level roles in hospitals or nursing homes.
“We want to prepare our students for what happens after graduation,” said Candace Jones, computer technology and phlebotomy instructor. “Getting certified means they can start working at facilities or hospitals that wouldn’t normally allow them to draw blood or have contact with patients.”
Part of exam preparation is completing 36 successful blood draws, which requires a lot of volunteers – like classmates and community members – who are willing to be stuck and prodded, along with professionals willing to supervise, including Cincinnati Fire Department Engine 2 Unit 1 out of Carthage.
Jasiona and Teonce, 12th-graders from Woodward, were two of the many volunteer patients who wanted to support their friends in the phlebotomy program.
“I knew they needed volunteers, so I wanted to be a good friend and show up for them,” said Jasiona.
“It helps them practice, and I get extra credit,” added Teonce. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Za’kari was one of the students working to improve upon her blood-drawing skills. She feels prepared for the upcoming exam but isn’t slowing down her studying just yet. She works as a volunteer intern at both Christ and University Hospitals and is excited to continue her education in nursing after graduation.
“I was drawn to health technology because it is different from what I was familiar with at school,” she said. “The hardest thing is getting the process and order of tasks correct, and remembering what tubes are used for what, but events like this help with that.”
Za’kari recommends that those with a curiosity for health try the program.
“I’d recommend anyone who has even the slightest interest in the program to go ahead and try it, even though it’s not always the first thing people think about when considering careers in health care,” she said.
Woodward’s health technology program introduces students to anything from biotechnology and laboratory science, to nutrition and sports medicine, to pre-pharmacy and patient-care support. Students can earn certifications in CPR or OSHA training or become State Tested Nurse Aides, Certified Nurse Aides and more.
Jones shared that after just three years running the program at Woodward, she has a 90 percent success rate.
“We have one of the best programs in the city,” she said with pride. “We are doing big things here.”
The phlebotomy students will graduate from the program in late April. In addition to getting to keep their Woodward lab coat, they’ll earn a pendant that symbolizes their achievement.
Learn more and keep up with the great things happening at Woodward at woodwardcareertech.cps-k12.org.