NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
So next semester myself and a few other people in the pre-med cohort are thinking along the lines of going to the community college, and doing our phlebotomy certifcation in 2 - 3 credits per quarter. The whole program is 16 credits. None of us is wanting to do 8 more credits in any given quarter....is this a good idea for us? Or should we hold off?

Andrea
 

beachblonde

10+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2007
1,256
5
0
Status
Medical Student
why do you want the cert? are you planning on using it?

if it's just to try to impress schools, it's not going to. largely because you find lots of people who are capable of being phlebotomists who wouldn't be able to hack it in med school. go volunteer or do something else.
 

dapdrow

5+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2010
112
14
101
Status
I would consider doing it if I was actually going to use it. Look into it and see how difficult it actually is because the program itself is probably relatively easy.

I think it's a great way to make some extra cash.
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
We're all looking at it for extra cash, and some direct patient contact. No more than 10 -20 hours a week for anyone. We are also volunteering, and we would like to all use the cert for volunteering at some free clinics. Most of us have a passion for that. I'm speaking for 15 of our 18 in the cohort :)

All of us need some money for books ad incidentals here and there. The idea is to do it as a group as a sort of strengthening for our small cohort.

A
 

Altruist

Hoodledooer
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2008
431
8
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
We're all looking at it for extra cash, and some direct patient contact. No more than 10 -20 hours a week for anyone. We are also volunteering, and we would like to all use the cert for volunteering at some free clinics. Most of us have a passion for that. I'm speaking for 15 of our 18 in the cohort :)

All of us need some money for books ad incidentals here and there. The idea is to do it as a group as a sort of strengthening for our small cohort.

A
While I admire your enthusiasm, you might want to call local hospitals/clinics and ask what training they require for their phlebotomists. I knew quite a few phlebs when I was working, and not one of them had any classroom training in phlebotomy. They were all trained on the job. After you learn how to hit a vein with a needle, the rest is just practice.

Unless your state has some sort of law requiring that training to draw blood, you might end up wasting your money for a useless certification.
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Okay Altruist! We don't require certs, but it looks like now our state is offering a course for free at several colleges.....so if it's free for us too it might not be bad.

We're going to get together and discuss pros and cons. If it will cost us, and we aren't meeting the requs for freebie course, then we need to probably just all apply for phlebotomy jobs, or stick to volunteering. Our tuition is already enough!

We're actually the first pre-med class at our school, the program for pre-meds came about in 2008 and the nursing school in 2000. So we're all working together, and working with the advisors to get something going with suppor for students coming in that want to be pre-health of any kind. It's exciting and scary to be in the first class of something anwhere!

We're going to talk about the school offering us some OTJ since the facilities are already here for it.

Thank you Altruist!

A
 

MLT2MT2DO

10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2008
2,600
386
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Some bigger named hospitals in your area may require the certification, regardless of state law. At least that is how it is in our neck of the woods.

Also phlebotomy is a useful skill that will get you REAL patient interaction, unlike emptying bed pans, I think this is a good idea.
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey MLTM:

Thank you. I was thinking that it might work that way. Well i would think it might help us to go through the course. I know there's a 10 hour internship too, so it gets you going with a little experience, and I know there's some requirements for drawing lood and such.

Thank you to everyone who has responded thus far as well.

I think any interaction is useful :) I know CNAs do a lot of hard work too. I am thinking that phlebotomy will not be something completely easy. It looks to me like i's a lot mre than just drawing blood in sme cases.

A
 

SLC

A Punk rock Country doc
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2010
3,548
3,369
181
The Empire
Status
Attending Physician
Go get your EMT's, there's some real patient interaction! It's only 120 hours in my state, and good education while you're at it.

Anybody can hit a vein with a needle (Trust me, I've trained a lot of pre-meds at my clinic who had no clinical aptitude at all), but not just anyone can manage an airway or remember treatment algorithms during an emergency situation. It's great experience!

I started drawing blood with no prior phlebotomy experience, easiest thing in the world if you ask me, so don't count on anybody being impressed if you get your phlebotomy cert. It's not that it isn't useful for getting patient contact, just that it isn't exactly the most impressive way of going about it. It's like taking the simplest part of a nurse or EMT's job and taking a training course focused solely on that.

SLC
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Okay SLC, but I cant really be lifting patient as an EMT at this point :( I have to wait fo my back injury to heal unfortunately. I had surgery on it in September I am just now starting to have better no pain days.

Yes I am sure it takes a lot to remember those things! I had a massage patient that I had to call an ambulance for and perform CPR. He told me he didn't feel good, and then suddenly he was blue and passed out. He survived, but it was a little stressful. I do remember this overwhelming sense of calm, and just utomatically going through the steps.

Andrea
 

Altruist

Hoodledooer
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2008
431
8
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's not that it isn't useful for getting patient contact, just that it isn't exactly the most impressive way of going about it.
I think any interaction is useful :) I know CNAs do a lot of hard work too. I am thinking that phlebotomy will not be something completely easy. It looks to me like i's a lot mre than just drawing blood in sme cases.
Regarding impressive patient contact, etc... I'm not sure how to put this. Clinical knowledge is helpful, but it won't get you into med school. If it did, it would be far more common than it is in my class of ~150. We have a sprinkling of EMT's, 2 paramedics, even 1 NP... but most folks are straight from college with nothing more than shadowing.

This is an unscientific sample, I grant you; but it seems that as long as you show some effort by volunteering at a hospital, or shadowing a bunch of docs, that's good enough. No school will expect/require you to have clinical knowledge before you start.

I guess what I mean by this is that additional experience or higher quality experience won't in itself make up for grades or other key things like that.

Yes I am sure it takes a lot to remember those things! I had a massage patient that I had to call an ambulance for and perform CPR. He told me he didn't feel good, and then suddenly he was blue and passed out. He survived, but it was a little stressful. I do remember this overwhelming sense of calm, and just utomatically going through the steps.
Sounds like a pretty good "why I'm going into medicine" essay just waiting to happen.
 

SLC

A Punk rock Country doc
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2010
3,548
3,369
181
The Empire
Status
Attending Physician
I may just be jaded by what my local state school wants. They eat that kind of stuff up!

But I'm beginning to realize that it's a fair bit different than the usual school in its admissions requirements.

SLC
 

Altruist

Hoodledooer
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2008
431
8
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I may just be jaded by what my local state school wants. They eat that kind of stuff up!

But I'm beginning to realize that it's a fair bit different than the usual school in its admissions requirements.

SLC
An easy mistake to make (I made it myself in my previous post) is thinking of all admissions committees as a single entity, who are all looking for the same thing. I assume you asked your local school, and that definitely means more than my opinion.

From my perspective, I had a career as a paramedic before I started this, and my adviser told me I'd be a shoe-in here or there because this place values previous experience, or this place likes non-trads, etc, etc. Either he told me all the wrong places, or that kind of advice wasn't helpful. If there are places that particularly value clinical experience, they must want it in addition to everything else, not lieu of certain things. In interviews, my work was brought up in the context of "why do you want to do something new?" not "wow you have a lot of clinical experience."

I am glad that I did what I did. It's who I am, and my experience should be useful in years 3 and 4. My point is that as long as you get your feet wet, you're good; and anything that takes time away from your classes/grades/studying for MCAT is going to hurt you when you apply. Remember that the first 2 years are difficult and involve a lot of studying. Somebody whose excuse was "my grades were low because I really like clinical experience so I focused on that" will make them ask what you're going to focus on in your first 2 years, when classes are all you're doing.

All other things being equal, clinical experience is good. But all other things are never equal... so it's hard to give advice where this subject is concerned.
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah I know it. You never know what will tip the scales in your favor. I did a hospital and labor massage internship with my massage school. Lots of relaxing patients during IVs and other things. I had to mark in charts and monitor progress according to massage treatment.

There's some clinical experience, with the back this hasn't been an option lately. It did involve a lot of lifting, pulling and stretching.

Volunteering is great too luckily we have a ton of opportunities with the school. There's a lot of community outreach here 3 or more times a month for various things. I cleaned tombstones one Saturday with a group of 10 people. It was great fun.

I definitely don't want to replace grades with clinical experience or volunteering. I think Altruist you're right it's a gamble from what I've been reading. You never know who is thinking what, hence I think the advice to apply early and broadly.

Ideally I'd like to balance everything.

My undergrad loved my personal statements and I applied a few places before I was acceppted here.....I know undergrad is a little less picky about these things. Who knows what makes people tick, and people run the committees.

A
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
5
0
Arkansas
Status
Pre-Medical
Okay SLC, but I cant really be lifting patient as an EMT at this point :( I have to wait fo my back injury to heal unfortunately. I had surgery on it in September I am just now starting to have better no pain days.

Yes I am sure it takes a lot to remember those things! I had a massage patient that I had to call an ambulance for and perform CPR. He told me he didn't feel good, and then suddenly he was blue and passed out. He survived, but it was a little stressful. I do remember this overwhelming sense of calm, and just utomatically going through the steps.

Andrea
Were you massaging his neck?
 

SLC

A Punk rock Country doc
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2010
3,548
3,369
181
The Empire
Status
Attending Physician
Were you massaging his neck?
Carotid Sinus reflex can cause a dangerous dip in Heart Rate and BP in some cases, hopefully this was not the case! I didn't even think of that.
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
5
0
Arkansas
Status
Pre-Medical
Carotid Sinus reflex can cause a dangerous dip in Heart Rate and BP in some cases, hopefully this was not the case! I didn't even think of that.
Yes, or you can break a clot loose in the neck causing an embolus and thus potentially an ischemic stroke.

This is of course in reference to carotid sinus massage which I assume a masseuse would avoid.
 

SLC

A Punk rock Country doc
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2010
3,548
3,369
181
The Empire
Status
Attending Physician
Yes, or you can break a clot loose in the neck causing an embolus and thus potentially an ischemic stroke.

This is of course in reference to carotid sinus massage which I assume a masseuse would avoid.

One would hope!

SLC
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes necks are touchy! You don'trub arteries. No I was actually working on the iliopsoas area when he first felt sick on the left side he was in anterior position. I asked if he wanted me to stop, and I wouldn't charge him for the massage since we were about ten minutes in.

He said no and asked if I'd worked his piriformis because he had a diag of pseudosiatica. I started working it, and life was not good after that. So no, luckily I was no where near the neck. We got some really extensive A&P training that included cadavers, so I have forever etched in meory most of the bodies insides.

A
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
5
0
Arkansas
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes necks are touchy! You don'trub arteries. No I was actually working on the iliopsoas area when he first felt sick on the left side he was in anterior position. I asked if he wanted me to stop, and I wouldn't charge him for the massage since we were about ten minutes in.

He said no and asked if I'd worked his piriformis because he had a diag of pseudosiatica. I started working it, and life was not good after that. So no, luckily I was no where near the neck. We got some really extensive A&P training that included cadavers, so I have forever etched in meory most of the bodies insides.

A
Do you do any specific massages for sacroilitis? Mine flares up from time to time, and this was my diagnosis about five years ago. :(
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes Arkanasas and I usually a maleable Ice Pack. There are two ways to do it. If you have someone that you trust to do it for you, because you'll need a second person, I'll be happy to tell you how.

A
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
Okay what you will need to do is lie flat on the floor on your back, put that icebag right on the painful sacroiliac joint lying on it.

Next as you are flat, guide your partner to find your inguinal ligament ofn the right first. Once they kow where it is have them remove their hands.

Slowly bring your knee to your chest, then have your partner pin that inguinal ligament again, while your knee is ast your chest.

After this very slowly straighten your leg out. See how far it can go without too much discomfort. After this hold the position at where there is some slight pulling. This should not be extremely painful, a little discomfort is okay.

Once you've held that position for about 30 seconds, go back to both of your legs being flat on the ground.

Repeat the steps 3 to 6 more times for each side of your body. This helps immensely!

Next, hang on to something stationery and sturdy such as a door frame while lying flat, and have your partner gently put the back of your knees in the crook of their elbow.

Have your partner gently pull your legs toward your feet for 30 seconds at a time, when you feel a slight sacral stretch, that's where to hold for 30 seconds, again do this three to six times, and keep that ice pack on it.

Hope this helps you out, and offers a little relief! chronic pain is no fun!

Andrea
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
5
0
Arkansas
Status
Pre-Medical
Okay what you will need to do is lie flat on the floor on your back, put that icebag right on the painful sacroiliac joint lying on it.

Next as you are flat, guide your partner to find your inguinal ligament ofn the right first. Once they kow where it is have them remove their hands.

Slowly bring your knee to your chest, then have your partner pin that inguinal ligament again, while your knee is ast your chest.

After this very slowly straighten your leg out. See how far it can go without too much discomfort. After this hold the position at where there is some slight pulling. This should not be extremely painful, a little discomfort is okay.

Once you've held that position for about 30 seconds, go back to both of your legs being flat on the ground.

Repeat the steps 3 to 6 more times for each side of your body. This helps immensely!

Next, hang on to something stationery and sturdy such as a door frame while lying flat, and have your partner gently put the back of your knees in the crook of their elbow.

Have your partner gently pull your legs toward your feet for 30 seconds at a time, when you feel a slight sacral stretch, that's where to hold for 30 seconds, again do this three to six times, and keep that ice pack on it.

Hope this helps you out, and offers a little relief! chronic pain is no fun!

Andrea
Well, thanks! I'll get the old lady to help me out. My ears really pricked up with "sacral stretch," lol. That should be fun.
 

NerdyAndrea

Pre-Med Student
Feb 10, 2010
220
2
0
At my school
Status
Pre-Medical
GREAT! Let me know if it helps! Good luck.

Andrea