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BOCES grads ready to aid in health care

Submitted photos Dr. William Geary, UPMC Chautauqua Laboratory, is pictured speaking to the 2021-22 E2CCB Phlebotomy Program graduating class.
The first collaborative Phlebotomy program between UPMC Chautauqua and E2CCB graduated its first class recently. Pictured are graduates: Angela Bellardo, Karri Frank, Kaitlan Starks, Racheal Chandler, Tyrell Fuqua, Rachel Staples, Meghan Dolan, Jennifer Potter, and Tenley Zielinski.

To help increase the number of skilled workers in the health care field, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES and UPMC Chautauqua recently teamed up to offer a hybrid Phlebotomy program.

The new partnership allowed students to immerse themselves into the laboratory experience by combining E2CCB curriculum and UPMC Chautauqua facilities.

“Students were allowed to shadow actual laboratory technicians, in addition to working with the phlebotomy staff,” said Erika Zielinski, class instructor. “They immersed themselves in the day-to-day laboratory operations and had a better understanding of the entire workflow. They experienced all the different patient care settings of the hospital and familiarized themselves with different members of the hospital team.”

The 100-hour course comprised of classroom lecture, hands-on practice and a clinical rotation recently graduated its first class. The graduating class included nine students from various backgrounds included Angela Bellardo, Karri Frank, Kaitlan Starks, Racheal Chandler, Tyrell Fuqua, Rachel Staples, Meghan Dolan, Jennifer Potter, and Tenley Zielinski.

“Phlebotomy may be an excellent way to get your feet wet and start to explore the healthcare system. This career may be the perfect opportunity for you to see all the different types of professionals that work in healthcare and what they do. Being a phlebotomist can be a stepping-stone to advancing your career if you choose to pursue an alternative field in healthcare,” Zielinski said. “For these graduates, they can become a part of a team that could help patients and maybe even saves their lives. That is definitely something they can be proud of.”

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