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Submitted photos Dr. William Geary, UPMC Chautauqua Laboratory, is shown speaking to the graduating class of the E2CCB Phlebotomy Program 2021-22.

The first collaborative phlebotomy program between UPMC Chautauqua and E2CCB recently graduated its first class. 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 pool 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 in the lab experience by combining the E2CCB curriculum and UPMC Chautauqua facilities.

“Students were allowed to observe actual lab technicians as well as work with phlebotomy personnel,” said Erika Zielinski, instructor of the class. “They immersed themselves in the daily operations of the lab and had a better understanding of the entire workflow. They experienced all the different patient care settings in the hospital and became familiar with the different members of the hospital team.”

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

“Plebotomy can be a great way to get your feet wet and start exploring the health care system. This career may be the perfect opportunity for you to see all the different types of professionals who work in health care and what they do. Being a phlebotomist can be a springboard to advance your career if you choose to pursue an alternative field in health care.” Zielinsky said. “These graduates can become part of a team that could help patients and maybe even save their lives. It’s definitely something they can be proud of.”



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