BRIGHTON — Students in School District 27J’s phlebotomy program will be participating in the 9Health Fair from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at Platte Valley Medical Center.
The students will be drawing blood for community members who would like to get their blood chemistry checked. The test costs $30 and provides participants with information on their blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, liver, kidney, bone and muscle function, and may even show warning signs of diabetes, heart disease or other concerns.
Sara Calzia, phlebotomist at Platte Valley Medical Center and class instructor, said the students have to be 18 years of age and have a minimum of 25 blood draws before they are selected to participate in the health fair. She also considers additional factors when selecting students to participate.
“For me, they have to show professionalism. They have to show that they want to be here, they know the material and they have the skills,” she said.
Brighton High School Senior Morgan Dumas and Prairie View High School Senior Alexander Dinhvu are among the ten students who will be participating in the health fair. Dumas and Dinhvu decided to enroll in the course because they both plan on having careers in the medical field.
Dumas said she’s excited and nervous about the health fair Saturday but that she’s looking forward to the learning experience. Dinhvu said he’s more excited because they’ve been practicing and feels confident in the skills he’s gained in class.
“In class, we’ve been practicing drawing blood, of course, using many techniques, many different needles,” Dinhvu said. “We also have to learn specifics like needle sizes, the specific order of draw for the tubes, the purposes of the tubes and the purposes of why we draw it.”
Dumas added that they had to know about the tubes as well and what tests the lab would run from them.
Health Sciences teacher and department coordinator Paula Zagel said the class is designed to give students an introduction to a career in phlebotomy. She said depending on each students academic and skill aptitude, they have the possibility of being a nationally certified phlebotomist.
“This is the first year that we’re offering the possibility of becoming certified for phlebotomy,” Zagel said. “We’ve been doing that with the CNA (certification) for many years, but this is the first year that we’re offering licensing for phlebotomy.”
Those interested in having their blood chemistry checked can pre-register at www.9healthfair.org/register. For more information on the 9Health Fair at PVMC, visit www.9healthfair.org or call 303-498-1481.