It was quite a challenge for me. I kept this achievement secret for a couple reasons. Only a handful of people knew I was going for this certification. I did not want to take a chance on hearing any negative remarks to interfere with what I wanted to do. I studied like crazy and never got bored of it. I'm just not a good test taker. I was so nervous about the final exam. The National Exam was not too easy and two weeks waiting on the results were agonizing. I lost sleep. I mean after all, I had put a lot of "sweat and blood" into this. Literally!
Class was fun. It was a small class of only eight women and two instructors. It lasted ten weeks. In those ten weeks, I took challenging test which some were perfect and some were below average (go figure). I was interested in the studies the whole time and could not wait for the next class so I could learn more things.
We were already doing capillary sticks within the first 3 weeks. That was painfully easy.
Here I am doing my first finger stick and trying to get the blood in the tube.
Then we moved on to venipuncture. We had to have so many successful sticks to pass the class. We started with an orange. This is where we got comfortable holding the needle steady.
You can see who the sympathetic one in the class was, now cant we?
The next week we moved on to dummy arms. After one stick to the dummy, I was ready, and the instructors let us practice on each other. We did half our sticks using class mates.
Here I am doing my very first blood draw.
I was some body's first stick! eeesh. It was perfect. Everyone of was good at it. I think it came natural. My arms looked like a drug user so I had to keep them covered. Eventually I had to tell a few friends what I was up to because I knew I could no longer do this on my own. We had a stick-a-thon, where we had to ask friends and family to come in and let us use them to get our stick quota. That was fun.
Whats Next for me?
I'm going to continue to learn all I can about phlebotomy and study more the order of draw. I do not plan to leave my current full time job any time soon. However, Id love to do phlebotomy on an "as needed" bases or some weekends for a while until I get some experience. This will gives me a direction to head towards one day. Id love to be in a more professional environment. Its scary but exciting to think about what my future holds.
Special thanks to my daughter and those that offered themselves to be my guinea pig. Also a special thanks to my husband and the ones that continued to keep my confidence on high. They have no idea how much they all helped me and how much I appreciate them.