Job Success with WMC Work Experience Program
Amanda Lloyd, a certified phlebotomist, received on the job training at Garrett Regional Medical Center through Western Maryland Consortium’s Work Experience Program. Through participating in the two-month program, she gained hands-on experience that enabled her to land a full-time position working in GRMC’s lab department.
With prior experience in the healthcare field, Amanda went back to school at Garrett College to receive phlebotomy training and certification. Through her training, she learned about the different elements of phlebotomy, including drawing blood from patients along with procedures on how to track, identify and label blood samples.
Amanda Lloyd, a certified phlebotomist, received on the job training at GRMC through Western Maryland Consortium’s Work Experience Program. Upon successful completion, she gained a full-time position in GRMC’s lab department.
In addition to her coursework, Amanda found that many healthcare entities require a minimum of two years of experience and she was referred to the Western Maryland Consortium’s Work Experience Program.
According to Mary Keller, a career counselor at Western Maryland Consortium, the work experience program is generally eight to 12 weeks of employment at a business, and the participant is paid by the Western Maryland Consortium at no cost to the employer.
“It’s a straightforward process for the employer and essentially allows them to see if an employee is a good fit for the organization before making a permanent hiring decision. While we never require an employer to hire a work experience participant, it is always our goal to try and get them steady, permanent employment,” Mary said.
Amanda explained she was nervous at first about working in GRMC’s lab department through the work experience program.
“Everyone really made me feel at home. I not only got hands-on experience in drawing blood, but I learned about the equipment and all of the different aspects of running a lab. I kept wanting to come back each day to learn more.”
She explained that after time, she felt really confident in her abilities to draw blood from patients. Amanda also noted that it can be challenging when a patient may be nervous about having their blood drawn. A big part of the job is explaining to them what to expect so they will feel calm and comfortable.
“The most challenging aspect of my job is when we have really young pediatric patients and newborns. It can be really nerve-racking for the parents – we always want to make it as painless of an experience as possible for both the parent and child. I work really hard at making all of my patients feel comfortable,” Amanda explained.
Members of GRMC’s lab department work with a variety of patients in a variety of settings. They do outpatient lab draws, but also go to nursing homes and go to patient rooms to take lab samples. Through the outpatient lab setting, they often develop a relationship with their regular patients who come on a weekly or monthly basis. Amanda really enjoys visiting with her “regulars” and especially loves listening to stories from her older patients.
“I love my coworkers, and I really enjoy our team – it’s a very friendly environment. I hope to stay here for as long as possible,” Amanda concluded.
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