- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
Using my STEP money I completed phlebotomy training and obtained my phlebotomy license. I also went on to get my ECG certification. These two classes helped me get a jump start on my medical career and become more competitive in my major application as well as my career once I graduate college.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
Obviously, the goal of these classes was to become competent in blood draws and ECGs. I expected going into the classes to achieve this, what I didn’t anticipate was improving my people skills along the way. Throughout the duration of the class having the chance to interact with my peers and be able to play through patient situations, I became so much more comfortable with my patient and people interactions. Another unexpected benefit of completing these programs is the increase in my professionalism when it comes to interviews and first impressions. I’m more comfortable and confident in what I know and how well I can “sell” myself in different professional settings. For example, I recently started clinicals for my major and I have been extremely confident in talking to other healthcare professionals and asking questions about things I didn’t understand. To clarify, I’m confident in what I know and I’m not afraid to ask questions when I don’t know something.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
When it came to my patient interactions, one thing that I think really helped me improve was the relationships I built with my peers. In my phlebotomy class, since we practice drawing blood on each other, we formed really good friendships, where trust was vital. Not only were you being stuck, but you were sticking them as well. That took both trust and confidence, so you truly had to learn and improve to not accidentally hurt your friends. A lot of people in my class were older than I was as well and had prior healthcare field experience, so their experiences and stories were invaluable.
Another important resource that led me to gain confidence and insight into my patient interactions was the interactions I had with my instructors. My instructors for both classes had wonderful, helpful tips and stories to aid in my learning experience. While my Phlebotomy instructor Kari, no longer worked in the medical field did she did for a very long time as a super technician (which is a technician who is trained in multiple specialties). Abbey, who was my instructor for ECG, actually works as a traveling technician still. This means she works at multiple hospitals as they have a need for help. Both of their experiences when explaining the different topics were phenomenal.
Finally, I saw an increase in my professionalism because part of the actual classes was set aside for professional development. We got to go through mock patient scenarios where I got to work the equipment and troubleshoot as I would in real life. Which was helpful, because in most interviews they will ask you questions about the job or actually have you perform a draw on the spot. We also took class time to revamp our resumes and make sure they were well suited for the medical world.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans
Taking these classes was only the first step in my professional career. I recently got into my respiratory therapy program and in two short years, I will be a respiratory therapist. Having the experience and skills the ECG and phlebotomy classes offered, has only enhanced my first couple weeks in the program so far. I also believe me having this certification helped me get into this program originally. It was relatively competitive, and I think having this extra skill set, set me apart from the other applicants. Moving forward, when I start clinicals and start having to do ABGs I will feel way more comfortable since I already know how to draw blood. Overall, my experience was fantastic and I wouldn’t do anything differently.