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Phlebotomist training for Beach High students

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Classes officially start in less than two weeks, but Beach High School students are already back in the classroom.

Beach High students are taking their skills from the classroom to the clinic as they get ready to start a brand new school year. It is hands on training as a phlebotomist. Drawing blood from their classmates.

“Sticking someone for the first time is kind of nervous because you can’t see it, so you got to go for it,” Beach High senior Rayn Bullard said.

Students on both sides of the needle felt the pressure but rose the occasion after two weeks of education and practice.

Martha White, the nurse practitioner in charge of the clinic and a former Beach high graduate, says this was a proud moment after a tough year. The clinic opened for a few weeks back in 2020 before COVID shut them down, but now they are ready to reopen.

“I’m just so proud I wasn’t sure you know how it was going to be this summer after COVID and everything else, but they are so ready to get to it and so ready to get to work. I have some really high achievers here some kids with a lot of lofty goals and I want to try to promote that anyway I can,” White said.

For Bullard, an incoming senior, the program peaked her interest because of the fast paced nature and COVID reinforced her desire to help in the high demand field. She is excited about the opportunity to not only help the community, but also get a job locally once she graduates.

“I’m just very grateful to have the opportunity to be here in this early setting to be able to work with the people in my own community it’s very eye opening,” Bullard said.

The clinic opens to patients on Aug. 24 and will offer screening to look for health risks and assist patients in case management.

“These students are learning how to identify your risk factors and then mitigate those risk factors by doing some education. The students are going to educate the patients with me on how to manage hypertension and how to mitigate your risks for some of these diseases that are so prevalent in our community,” White said.

The clinic will have limited hours during the school day and is free for the community.

The clinic is discussing the opportunity to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to the community in the future. But for now, the program will help vaccinate students who are signed up.

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