Students in the health technology course at the Delaware Area Career Center have gotten hands-on with their education after the career center started partnering with OhioHealth.
DACC staff said this is the first year of the collaboration between the two organizations and involves 17 health technology students going to 11 OhioHealth locations to work as interns, drawing blood and performing other tasks for patients.
The students, who have already been certified in phlebotomy, said the hands-on training and experience that they have gained from the program will give them an advantage over fellow classmates in medical school.
“There are classes in college just for phlebotomy,” said Kayla Burke, a senior in the program. “Not only is it saving us time but it’s also saving us money.”
The students are taught by staff at DACC and on location by OhioHealth staff. After enough training, which includes drawing blood from fake arms, students begin to draw blood from patients visiting OhioHealth facilities for various procedures.
“It’s a big responsibility,” said Alexis Smith, a senior in the program. “These are OhioHealth’s patients. If we mess up, it looks bad on them. So the better they teach us the better we do. And they make sure we are ready before we do anything.”
“It is really fun and I love it,” said Brenda Hysell, also a senior in the program. Hysell said that some of the students have been interning at the facilities for a long time and have even begun developing relationships with regular patients and staff. “[The staff] boasts about us and how good we are to patients.”
For OhioHealth staff, the program is a win-win.
According to OhioHealth officials, the partnership was born out of a need for phlebotomy-certified staff at OhioHealth facilities. A representative from OhioHealth said that not only are they training professionals who could one day become staff, but they are helping students by keeping them up-to-date on current practices and techniques and preventing bad habits from forming.
By assisting with students’ education, OhioHealth officials said they hope the students come work for them when they finish school.
All of the seniors graduating this spring from the program said they will miss the course.
“Throughout this program, we’ve become a family,” said senior health technology student Ayah Said. “OhioHealth is a huge network with a name that’s well-known. It’s a great opportunity.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.