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Healthcare Job Training

Amy came to Vista Adult Education through a referral from the Department of Rehabilitation.

She is a very intelligent, skilled, and motivated individual. When we met, she expressed her desire and ability to complete our phlebotomy training and get back into the work world. Amy, who is severely hearing impaired, had been a phlebotomist for a short time before--but years had passed and California had established laws which require phlebotomists to be specifically trained and certified. 

When Amy learned Vista Adult Education offered phlebotomy training, she reported she was excited to get started. I registered her for class and from that day forward she became one of our best students. The Department of Rehabilitation provided Amy with interpreters for the classroom hours and she met students in class who assisted in sharing their notes from lectures. Amy was well liked by her teachers and fellow students. She received great grades, took and passed the state phlebotomy test and then enrolled in our externship program. There she would work with patients in a lab or hospital setting. Everyone seemed most interested in how Amy would successfully communicate with patients and medical staff––not only during her externship but in future employment. Even with her great skills, recent training, and bright and friendly demeanor, some potential extern sites seemed anxious about her participation at their location. As she rarely spoke (and was difficult to understand), she communicated using sign language, lip reading, and note writing exchanges; and many struggled to imagine how this medical professional could ever work and communicate with the general population.  

Amy would not give in or give up. She developed a series of note cards which welcomed patients, notified them of her hearing impairment, and provided them with needed and necessary questions or answers.  Moreover, over time and with her previous experience, Amy developed an inventory of compensating mechanisms and other acuities beyond what many hearing individuals might imagine. With her instructor, she researched job settings that would have staff in proximity to her work station and patients. A good site placed Amy and ultimately she successfully completed all extern hours and requirements.  She did a great job; however, she was not offered a job at the end of her externship.

Soon after, Amy and I worked on her resume and cover letters. Amy worked hard to find a job and took her search seriously.  I enjoyed assisting her and believed she would make an excellent employee. Eventually, she was offered a job and has been successfully working as a phlebotomist for over a year now. 

Elizabeth O'Shea-West
Vista Adult School

www.vasweb.vusd.k12.ca.us

September 2009