Saturday, October 31, 2009

The River of Life

"­Do you ever wonder what makes up blood? Unless you need to have blood drawn, donate it or have to stop its flow after an injury, you probably don't think much about it. But blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood."
Taken from the web site; How stuff works ~ How Blood Works

Although this last month has been a grueling experience for me, it was well worth it. Going into this, I had no idea this program was only a month long and I would be expected to learn a "career" in that short amount of time. There is still so much to learn. I will never forget coming home after the second night of attending this class and trying to "milk a finger." Charlie and I will ask each other what plans we have for the weekend; my reply after this particular Thursday night class was to go to a farm and practice milking a cow. Charlie's reaction was wanting more information and I had to explain to him, that I had to "milk" a finger and have never even milked a cow; I had to learn the skill. I never did practice on a cow, but I am sure I could do it now after this class. During the first couple of venipunctures, I was uncomfortable with feeling a rush when I would see the blood hit the tube. I didn't know if this feeling was because I hit the vein with success, and causing excitement. I also was uncomfortable with the feeling of how beautiful I thought the color of blood was. I was sharing this with my daughter-in-law Nessa as we were running and she said, "This is what vampires must feel like!" Which in addition, is also what they call a Phlebotomy Technician. I shared with my instructor what I was feeling and found two other class mates that felt the same as I did. With raised eyebrows, the look on our instructors face said that we said to much. We all had a good laugh. After 50 venipunctures, that rush is no longer felt, although I still think the color of blood is beautiful.

While attending this program, I have new respect growing with everything that I am learning about how our body functions. I find myself really thinking about what I put into my body and how I treat it. I recently had a physical and learned everything is good except I am anemic. The week before I had my physical, I noticed I was extremely tired during and after my daily run. I had just chalked it up to everything I was pushing myself with catching up to me. When I got my test results, it all made sense. After finishing my clinical last week, I am taking care of myself and have given myself permission to taking it easy this week. It has been so intense with the rigorous studying, a test with every class and learning the skill of drawing blood. It has been nice to take time, go over what I have learned and be able to really take it in.

The experience of working in a clinic was very interesting and quite different than working in a school cafeteria. The first day during lunch, we all sat around a table. As I ate my turkey sandwich the two Doctors, nurses, receptionist and Pharmaceutical Rep discussed Viagra and all it entailed. Of course the inappropriate jokes and conversation went along with this discussion as I only wanted to quietly slip out of the room. Our class instructor had warned us before our clinical that we would hear every form of gossip and encouraged us NOT to get involved. The very first day in the lab, one employee after another would vent what they were feeling about the other as that person would walk out. My back felt like it was going to snap when I got home from all of the tension and feeling nervous of not knowing what the day was going to be like. The rest of the week got better with every day that went by. I got through the doctors inappropriate jokes he would tell me and the back biting the ladies would try to invite me to join. Putting all of that aside, I enjoyed working in the clinic and the hands-on experience it gave me.

My next step in this journey is to take my NCCT (the state test). I am just waiting for my certificate saying I finished the program to arrive and then the date will be set. Until then, I will be studying and getting ready for that test. Our instructor will also open the lab at school on the weekend so we can continue practicing our draws. I can see a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel!

*Blood taken from Google images


  1. After reading your wonderful post, I started singing "I've got a river of life flowing out of me..." Do you remember that song we used to sing.

    Angela, I'm so very proud of you. The picture of you is lovely.

    Love and Hugs
    Wanda Mom

  2. Mija

    I too am very very proud of you I know and understand what a journey you are on and I know with every fiber in me you will succeed!

    Love you

  3. You're so awesome Ang! this is great stuff! OK, so is it in our family ? the fascination with vampires? I'll faint at the sight of blood, but would love to be a vampire. So, when I'm there for Thanksgiving, can you tell me what blood type I am? I've no idea. :)

  4. Angela I'm so proud of you!
    You look great in the photo, you can take my blood anytime.
    I'm so impressed you have learned all this in such a short time. Though to you it must seem like much longer. Well done.
    big hugs