In 2017 I met this tatted up girl in my math class, she told me she was a phlebotomist at quest diagnostics. She mentioned that it really didn’t take her too long to do and that she was getting paid enough money to live on her own. That’s when I decided to look into to it my self. At that time I was going to Chaffey and working at McDonald’s but I didn’t know why I was going to Chaffey since I didn’t know what I wanted to major in. So I did my research on phlebotomy and found out that Chaffey had a phlebotomy course through community education and that the course was only ten weeks along. So I decided to focus on that course since I didn’t have a clear education plan for myself. So I completed all my requirements that I needed to join the course that included getting a physical and getting booster shots and a twenty three hundred payment upfront.
So fast forward to the first day of class and I show up to the Chaffey campus in Chino and walk in to the class of sixteen people including myself and realize that I was the only guy in that class. The first day of class we did not do much because we could not practice drawing blood in a class room we needed to be at the facilities that’s we were going to do our clinicals at. Although we did pick what hospital we wanted either San Antonio or Pomona Valley hospital but only eight people could go to each hospital. I picked Pomona valley but there was one too many people wanting to go to Pomona valley already so what the teacher did was raffle a number and if we had that number we agreed that that person would switch over to San Antonio. Guess what? Out of the nine numbers my number was the chosen one, so I switched over to San Antonio. At the time I was pretty upset but I remember thinking to myself ,what ever I’m not going to make this a big deal about it. That first day we also watched videos but we did not actually draw blood which, is also called performing a venipuncture.
On first day of clinicals it felt like walking into a Greys Anatomy’s episode because it was the first time every I was walking into this nice hospital wearing Greys Anatomy’s scrubs. On that day me and all my class mates where going to draw blood from each other for the first time and that was pretty nerve wrecking because I already hated getting my blood drawn in the first place. Plus now knowing that it was going to be their first time drawing blood was killing me. While I was waiting for me and my partners turn to try I would watch the groups ahead of me poke each other. I let my partner go first because she is a female, I was losing it on the inside but on the out side I was trying my best to keep my cool so I wouldn’t move and she could not mess up.
She poked me and was able to get blood and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Then it was my turn and I tide her tourniquet around her arm and noticed she had good veins and I went for it and poked her. My hands where a little shaky but I still got blood return though and she didn’t get hurt too bad. On the next clinical day we started to draw blood on actual patients, the patients did know we were students. I walked into the hospital thinking everyone was going to have great veins like my classmates but I was wrong old people have lose skin and is much harder to get blood from. It was much harder than my classmates but I had to get over being scared of not getting blood return on the first shot or else I was never going to learn. I would try each patient that I would come across, if I wasn’t able to get it there was always a phlebotomist next to me and they would come in and either save it or just draw them again, so I always had backup. After a couple weeks into the course I had the hang of it.
In class we start to prepare for the national exam that was one hundred and fifty questions long. Me and four other class mates became a squad and we went to each other’s houses to study. Finally the big day was here. The test was a lot easier than I thought but still pretty challenging since there was a lot of information to go over and only had 10 weeks to cover it. I ended up passing with a 82%. So now we were all done with the course but we still couldn’t apply for jobs because we needed to wait for our license to get approved by the state and that took three whole months! After waiting three months for my license I was ready to start applying to jobs but I didn’t even have too. A day after I found out that my license was approved, San Antonio Lead Lab Tech calls me and tell me if was interested in working as a phlebotomist and I said of course. He then said this exactly, “Well then when can you come down for an interview with the director of the lab .” I was speechless I replied and we set up the interview.
The day of the interview comes and I had already gone over like 30 videos on how to reply to interview questions and had done like 5 mock interviews with my self. The interview was about one hour and a half long and it went better than I had thought I made them laugh and replied to all the questions in a professional way. It felt more like a long conversation about me and I was pretty much selling my self and telling them what they wanted to hear. They told me that they where going to call me back within a week. They told me if it was HR calling me that I had got the job but if it was one of them calling me it meant that I did not get the job. So I waited for the call patiently. A week and a half later I get a call form HR, at that moment I was so happy and really could not believe it. Only me and another girl where the only ones that got hired and we are the only two people from that class that actually went on and got a job as a phlebotomist.
I really like this quote, “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” And the reason why I think its so relevant to my story is because Pomona valley didn’t hire no one because they were simply just not hiring at the moment. If I was not chosen to switch hospitals on that very first day of class the higher ups at San Antonio would have never met me and never would have offered me an interview. With that decision in 2017 to join that course it has had a great impact in my life because now that I have been working there I have been exposed to lots of different career choices in health care and I have been able to actually work and talk to professionals about there professions. It has helped me deiced what I want to major in and giving me a real reason why to go to college.