Has anyone ever taken a phlebotomy class? There is a 13 week class in my area that comes highly recommended and they are offering a course over the summer. I often see ads for very part time phelbotomists and it always sounds like fun (am I weird thinking that taking blood samples and helping process them is fun - lol). The med school I want to go to suggests it for good clinical exposure and lots of hospitals offer very short hours so it wouldn’t interfere with school.
Has anyone ever done this?
If you have the time and money, this skill and others that you will learn in the class, can be useful. You can make a bit of money on the side and many companies will pay you to do home visits for blood draws as long as you have a certificate. The extra change could come in handy later on.
I work as a phleb at my local hospital. I originally took the job in order to make sure that medicine was what I really wanted to do the rest of my life. The not-too-shabby pay was an unexpected benefit as well.
I can only speak from my experience at a relatively rural community hospital, but the things I have gotten to do have exceeded my expectations. I have drawn blood on terribly injured accident victims, inpatients, run of the mill outpatients, and newborns being prepared to be mercy flighted to Strong Hospital. In addition, I have assisted in transporting patients (the more burley folks around a person on a backboard to help gingerly lift the patient onto the CAT scan table, the better), and sometimes simply held the hand of an elderly person that was overwhelmed by fear and confusion.
There aren’t any formal phlebotomy classes local to my area, so I was trained OJT. I observed for three days, then drew “easier” outpatients at first, progressing to more difficult draws as I felt comfortable. After 100 draws, I was allowed to work in the rest of the hospital (with a more experienced phleb with me for the first two weeks).
I would encourage you to take the class and work as a phleb while in pre-med studies. It has been a source of many experiences that have fortified my desire to become a physician. (and incidentally, fortified my desire to return to practice in my rural hometown!)
P.S. Another bonus for me was interacting with the doctors and getting to know them. As an employee of the hospital, a surprising number have been more than willing to let me shadow.