With a growth rate labeled “much faster than average,” now is the time to take advantage of Rend Lake College’s single-semester Phlebotomy occupational certificate program. According to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the medical field is expected to grow by 25 percent by 2024.
The 16-credit-hour program is designed to prepare students to work in the medical field as a phlebotomist; responsible for collecting blood specimens as ordered by a physician or other health care professional.
Rita Watkins, a native of Mt. Vernon, is just one phlebotomist working at Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon. A graduate of RLC’s Phlebotomy program, Watkins said she’d always thought about going into a medical career, but wasn’t sure how or where to start. Several years ago, she left her job of 15 years and decided to go back to school and focus on phlebotomy.
“I’m a people person and I love dealing with people. I like communicating. This job is about the passion and caring for others,” said Watkins. “I did the classes at Rend Lake College, and it was hard, but I was determined to continue with it. The teachers were excellent – they would stay after class and help you if you needed it – and that inspired me.”
As a phlebotomist, Watkins draws blood for tests, transfusions, donations, and research. Part of the job duties also includes explaining the procedure to patients and assisting in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions.
During the program, Watkins completed her clinicals at Crossroads Community Hospital, and was offered a job after graduating and receiving her certification. Going on five years, she said she wouldn’t change her decision to go back to school.
Those looking to enroll in an Allied Health program at RLC may want to consider this certificate as a valuable addition to a résumé. Students can earn a certificate in phlebotomy while awaiting acceptance into another RLC Allied Health program.
For more information about the Phlebotomy program, contact the Allied Health Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251 or email[email protected].