For the last few months I’ve been taking classes at night a couple times a week (Tuesday and Thursdays) to learn to be a phlebotomist and yesterday afternoon I took the final exam and am now certified and set to begin my new journey. My instructors at Because We Care here in DC were just so amazing and helpful and made the whole thing seem so easy – I know it’s because they were so good at training us.
A phlebotomist, in case you didn’t know is a technician that collects blood for testing and for transfusions, labeling the different samples, and keeping on top of all documentation. You’ve probably had a phlebotomist take your blood during your last doctor visit and didn’t even know they were anything besides a nurse. It’s very technical and specialized, I had to work for long hours figuring out the best ways to slip the syringe-needle with minimal discomfort on the patient. I’m actually getting a little turned on by wearing the rubber gloves so sometimes I might spend a little extra time just making sure they are “just right” before I begin.
I had quite a few slips ups during my training and knew when the patient had gone that it would either bruise or at minimum sting for a little bit. But now I’m much more confident and have learned to distract the patient a little bit before I slip it in – mostly I just strike them up in casual conversation; ask them about their families or where they’ve vacationed lately. In my cubicle at the school lab I placed two posters for them to look at to help, one of the posters is a beautiful mountaintop covered in snow with a a couple of skiers on what looks like a milk run – boy does that scene make me wish I was out there this moment enjoying the powder. The other poster is just a couple of kittens, some people are into that I guess. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to go out of your way to please other people – especially if it helps them to relax, I’m all about small talk, but sometimes other distractions work.
In anticipation of this certification I have been putting out feelers discretely for work in places that I’d like to live, you all know the list as I’ve talked about it so many times before but I think I’ve finally settled on Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I’ve sent my resume into St. Boniface hospital there and have already been asked to come in for an interview. My friend Nathan has assured me that I can crash at his house for the interview and if I get the job then I could even crash there until I get on my feet. Wow, I’m finally going to have free health care and I will only have to move out of the “land of the free” to get it. Crazy right? These Canadians not only have free health care, they are getting rid of their penny and have a porn channel… a porn channel! can you imagine? And the winters there I hear are comparable to what we have in the DC area so I’ll be fine.
I’m flying out Monday for the interview and hope to have a job offer this week and if so I’ll be giving notice at my job then packing up and heading for Winnipeg! During my visit in September of last year I just fell in love with the place, the people, the poutine it’s everything I ever wanted and more. They’ve have good quality AA, beefy men and the Blue Bombers – Canada’s best football team and you know I’m a big football fan so I belong in this city. Once I’m settled in I hope a lot of you have the opportunity to visit – especially in January you really want to experience the snow and ice blanketing the city – it’s stunning.
The thought of working in a hospital environment collecting bodily fluids for testing and labeling is just very fulfilling. I look forward to sucking… er drawing the blood out of Canadians for many years to come. I hope that you will all also have the opportunity to feel this fulfilled about a career change as I do.
Becoming a certified phlebotomist is a life long dream I’ve had for a couple of months now and it’s finally becoming a reality.
If you’re late to the party, this was my April Fools Day Post – I pass out around needles and blood, detest snow and cold weather and don’t do “small talk”.