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Students Gain Confidence in Phlebotomy Skills during Stick Parties



Feb 04, 2015

Christina Sapp, a student in the medical assisting program at the Louisville Campus, can easily sum up her feelings about the first time she tried to draw blood. “I was terrified; absolutely terrified,” she recalled.

Medical assisting student Anna Givens agrees. “I was a little nervous,” she admitted.

While many medical assisting students are apprehensive the first time they try to draw blood from a human, those fears give way to confidence during “stick parties” which allow students to gain experience drawing blood from students, staff, friends, and family members who volunteer their arms.

During a recent stick party, instructor Shanita John carefully guided students in her invasive medical procedures class to help them locate their volunteer’s vein and insert the needle properly. With over 15 years of experience in the medical field, Shanita’s assistance is invaluable to the students, as she explains the different scenarios that they may encounter when drawing blood. 

“First they practice on Charlie, the dummy, and then after I see that they’re comfortable, I let them draw blood from a volunteer,” she explained.

After performing almost 20 blood draws over several weeks, Christina now feels confident to perform venipunctures when she enters the medical field. “After you get blood for the first time, it’s really super simple to do it again because you get all pumped up and you say ‘I can do this,’” she said with a smile.

A- Christina Sapp (front left) is shown preparing to draw blood during a stick party at the Louisville Campus.

B-Instructor Shanita John (left), a 15 year veteran of the medical field, guides medical assisting student Anna Givens during a blood draw.

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tags: KY-Louisville Medical: Medical Assisting - Associate Degree (MAA)