When Goodwin College students graduate from the semester-long Phlebotomy program, offered three times a year, they earn a 16-credit collegiate certificate. The certificate allows them to enter the workforce immediately, and gives them 16 college credits that are fully transferable towards other degree programs at Goodwin.
The graduates are eligible to sit for a voluntary certification exam. This additional certification is not mandatory for employment in many states, including Connecticut, but employers look upon it favorably. Students are commonly compensated for their certification with a higher hourly wage. St. Francis Hospital, for example, pays an extra $2/hr for the certification.
Following the 2015 spring semester, eight graduates of the Phlebotomy program elected to take the certification exam to give themselves an edge over their competition for jobs. All eight students passed.
Previously, taking this exam required manually signing up for a test date and traveling to an independent test center. For the last two semesters, thanks to the program’s recent partnership with the National Healthcareer Association, sitting for this exam has become much more accessible.
Ava Hill, the Practicum Coordinator of the Phlebotomy program, attributes some of the students’ success to the accessibility of the NHA exam, which is held on the Goodwin campus.
“The advantages of having the exam at Goodwin are tremendous. It encourages students to follow through and actually take the exam, and it means the graduates all support each other,” said Hill. She also espoused the values of having the eight graduates take the exam at the same time. “Even though they had already graduated from the program, they still called each other to remind everyone about the exam,” she explained.
Paula Dowd, the Department Chair of Health and Natural Sciences, agreed that location is a key factor. “When students have to go to a different exam site, transportation can sometimes be an impediment. When they can take the exam at Goodwin, they’re used to the layout—it’s just one less stressor,” she said.
Dowd was confident that the Phlebotomy students were set up to succeed. “One of the reasons all eight students passed is that our instructors work in the field, and we offer enhancements in addition to instruction, like shadowing Red Cross workers at the Goodwin blood drive,” Dowd mentioned. Students can also practice live sticks on Goodwin faculty and staff volunteers. “The content of our courses as well as these enhancements really position students for success in the exam, giving them the necessary critical thinking skills and practice,” Dowd said.
Moving forward, the Health and Natural Sciences department is making the exam even more affordable and accessible to their students. Currently, students pay a $105 fee to sit for the exam. For upcoming semesters, the department plans to roll this exam fee into the students’ financial aid packages.
“I am really excited about this partnership with the NHA. They make certification accessible for our students,” said Dowd.
For more information on the Goodwin Phlebotomy program, click here.