Training Program for Careers in Phlebotomy Offered Through Unique Partnership Joining UVM Medical Center and the Institute for American Apprenticeship at Vermont Healthcare & Information Technology Center
Free, eight-week course open to Vermont residents
BURLINGTON – With a national workforce shortage impacting nearly every aspect of health care throughout the region, The University of Vermont Medical Center and the Institute for American Apprenticeship (IAA) at Vermont Healthcare & Information Technology Education Center (HITEC) have partnered to offer an innovative training and development initiative that will both prepare graduates to become certified phlebotomists and guarantee them a job at UVM Medical Center following graduation.
The 8-week Phlebotomy Training Program, offered at no cost and open to Vermont residents and UVM Medical Center employees, is taking applications. Up to 12 candidates will be accepted, and the deadline to submit an application is Sunday, January 23. To apply, visit www.iaahitec.org/ and click the banner at the top of the web page.
Initiatives are underway to further develop innovative ways to address longstanding health care workforce shortages impacting the UVM Health Network service area in Vermont and Northern New York, as well as hospitals and health care organizations across the country. The evolving COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Efforts to eliminate the financial and logistical barriers to pursuing health care careers are critical to the Network’s focus on ways to find solutions and build partnerships to train people for meaningful jobs where staffing shortages exist.
Phlebotomists – individuals who are trained and certified to draw and prepare blood for medical testing, transfusions and donations – are among the health care workers in high demand. Initiatives such as the phlebotomy training program create new pathways for health care organizations to reach into the community and train people for meaningful work in areas impacted by the workforce shortage.
Cindy Nelson, MT, Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for the UVM Medical Center, called the course a foundational piece of the hospital’s work caring for communities throughout Vermont.
“Giving people who might otherwise not be thinking about going into health care the chance to pursue a great career is one of the things this program does incredibly well,” Nelson said. “From people right out of high school to those who are looking for a totally new career later in life, this course is really for anyone who wants to hit the ground running on day one and become part of a great team and an integral part of the work we do caring for our patients every single day.”
Phlebotomists also routinely assist with other types of diagnostic collections, including nasal swabs, and urine and fecal collections.
“Phlebotomists really are often among the first contacts patients have with health care,” said Denise Francis, Phlebotomy Supervisor at the UVM Medical Center. “They’re caring and compassionate, and their skills are really important – they’re a part of making sure that physicians have the information they need to make medical decisions.”
Rebecca Spencer, a Project Leader and consultant with the IAA at Vermont HITEC, said the program has a 100% success rate for its graduates becoming certified phlebotomists. Once participants successfully complete the training course, which includes a mix of classroom and interactive learning, job shadowing and remote instruction, they move into guaranteed jobs as phlebotomists at the UVM Medical Center and also enroll in a year-long apprenticeship program.
“It’s intense. There’s a lot of upfront work that goes into those eight weeks. But it’s also an incredible program that prepares people to do everything necessary to complete their certification exam and to succeed the day they start their employment,” Spencer said.
Workforce development initiatives, such as the Phlebotomy Training Program, are a key feature of the UVM Health Network’s Access Action Plan, which is aimed at reducing delays in patient access to outpatient, inpatient and specialty care, and ensuring continued access to urgent and emergency care amid record patient volumes and a nationwide health care staffing crisis.
The plan includes investments in staffing, technology and infrastructure, as well as enhanced partnerships with other health care institutions and state and local governments, with the goals of hiring successfully amid the staffing shortage, reducing wait times for specialty care services and improving hospital inpatient and emergency capacity.
About the University of Vermont Medical Center
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a 499-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately 1 million residents in Vermont and northern New York. Together with our partners at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center. The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve.