My project was focused on learning the skills and responsibilities of a phlebotomist. I spent time taking courses that taught proper order of draw and the wonders of the cardiovascular system and our blood components. At my internship, I was responsible for taking blood, labeling tubes, and understanding their proper storage.
This project taught me just how fears can be overcome and how important it is to truly understand the aspects of what you are doing, even if it requires you to do outside research. I have always been a little squeamish when it comes to blood – just what you want to hear from your phlebotomist, right? On my first blood draw it wasn’t the patient who became light-headed, but myself! I became more confident in blood drawing and was able to successfully complete all my blood draws. What makes it so scary is all the aspects that could go wrong. There are many factors to consider when taking someone’s blood – What vein is best to draw from? Is the needle inserted at the right angle? Does the patient have any history of a mastectomy, do they have a hematoma, collapsed vein? Is the vacuum in the tube good? The list continues on, which is what makes this so daunting. Doing this definitely taught me not to underestimate anyone and also to give people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. In order to be successful, I had to practices poking a lot of people and I obviously wasn’t always accurate. So, I am definitely grateful to those people who helped me through this. I hope to return the favor to others in the future.
In order to understand all aspects of my internship, I had to do some outside research. The class couldn’t be all-encompassing of every situation. I had to learn the specific ways and procedure the office I was in did blood draws. I had to figure out which tubes would be necessary for specific types of testing and the proper way the tubes needed to handled post draw. It definitely required patience and more self-motivation.
Interacting with the people who allowed me to practice on them definitely helped in my transformation experience. My first blood draw definitely did not go well. I left a pretty large bruise on the sweet lady I drew on. However, she was super encouraging and handled the situation with grace. She even let me draw on her during my last day and it was a success! This helped me to understand that giving a person a chance to learn from their mistakes is important. This made me feel a lot more confident in my abilities.
I was also able to learn a great deal of patience and self-motivation. The classes I had to take in order to do my internship were not exactly the best. They were all online so I had to create a lot of my own structure and schedule. The class was also poorly organized and often there would be missing videos. This required me to do some research beyond the class as well. This allowed me to learn even more and understand phlebotomy from different viewpoints.
In addition to all this, interacting with a variety of patients and understanding patient confidentiality was a really important learning experience. This will help me in the future as a medical professional. For example, if I knew a test I was doing was for STDs or drugs, I had to be careful not to judge and of course not share this information with anyone else. I was able to learn the importance of patient interaction and how to act professionally in these situations. This was a great learning experience for me and will help me in my future jobs.
These learning points and transformation are so valuable to me because they will help me in other medical professions and also in my future courses. I can use the characteristic of confidence to assist me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Being confident and exerting confidence is an important way to hold yourself in front of others, especially medical settings. It feels better to be a more confident person! Self-motivation will also be an incredibly valuable skill in future courses and jobs. It allows me to complete tasks more efficiently and put people at ease.
Overall, the most important aspect I have taken away is how to interact with people, patients in particular. Patient interaction is really important. Knowing how to be empathetic, not cross lines, and maintain confidentiality is necessary for the person’s comfort. It was also crucial to double-check who the person is and that you’re drawing from the correct individual. This will be important in future jobs to make sure I’m carrying our correct diagnoses and treating people in the best way possible. This experience was incredibly valuable and I am able to take a lot away from it. I will be able to do better in my coursework and it has put me on the right track to being a medical professional. I have definitely grown as a person as a result of this internship.