CINCINNATI — Students in Candace Jones’ class at Woodward Technical High School are learning a career one skin stick at a time.
Jones calls her phlebotomy class ”Sticks 4 Kicks.” Students learn how to draw blood from real, live humans, and it’s a rush, according to senior Cassidi Macaraniag.
“Honestly, it’s like adrenaline,” Macaraniag said. “It sounds weird, but it’s really an adrenaline just getting the blood back and saying, ‘I hit the vein and got the blood back!’”
Jones says it’s important to give kids the hands-on experience they need now before they head out into the real world.
"Sticks 4 Kicks is a simulated clinical that I created and designed for my phlebotomy students who are unable to go into the hospitals because they’re minors,” Jones said.
"No hospital, no facility who is looking to hire a phlebotomist wants anyone who doesn’t draw on real people. Sticking in a dummy is not the same as sticking in a human being. We have to set them up so they can hit the ground running.”
Sticks 4 Kicks students spend hours doing lab work and even practicing on each other. At the two-day event this week, they have the chance to get their 30 sticks so they can take the phlebotomy certification exam.
“We bring in a little bit over 700 people - volunteers, trainers who assist the students while they draw blood,” Jones said.
Students also learn the workings of the heart.
“We’re doing EKG readings,” said senior Deasia Parks. “We’re taking their blood pressure, oxygen levels.”
This is all a way to give these seniors a head start after graduation.
“It gives them that experience and exposure that they wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to receive,” Jones said.