Phlebotomist / Medical Assistant

Sometimes referred to as a vampire or dracula


Medical Industry

Phlebotomist / Medical Assistant

Keywords / Skills

  • Phlebotomy
  • Medical Terminology
  • Hospitals
  • Assisted Living
  • Rehabiliation Facilities
  • ICU
  • NICU
  • Maternity
  • Primary Care Physician offices
  • HIPPA
  • ICD-9 Codes
  • Microbiology
  • Hematology
  • Chemistry
  • HIPPA
  • Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Introduction

For the first 5 years or so of my professional life, I worked in the medical industry as a Certified Phlebotomist and Medical Assistant.


I worked in many different medical care facilities and wards including: Hospitals, Emergency Rooms (ER), Nursing homes, Assisted Living, Rehabiliation Facilities, Intensive Care (ICU), Newborn Intensive Care (NICU), Maternity, Oncology, Pyschiatric, as well as Primary Care Physician (PCP) offices and laboratories.


Companies I've worked for

Private Laboratories

LabCorp and NorDx.


Hospitals

Maine Medical Center (through NorDx) and St. David's Medical Center in Austin, TX.


Brief summary of my time as a phlebotomist and how I transitioned into software

About my time as a phlebotomist

Working in this field was very exciting, fun and always fresh. I loved the atmosphere and the emotional side of working as a Phlebotomist. I very much enjoyed learning new tests and skills such as assisting with different microbiology cultures such as rapid strep tests or blood cultures, learning manual differential counts, and even assisting with cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) testing. There was always something new happening and I am filled with many fun stories of my time working in this industry.


Struggles with this career choice

That being said, the biggest reason for leaving this industry was due to compensation and growth. While working as a phlebotomist and medical assistant, I did not receive an income that allowed me to really live the way I wanted to. I didn't feel comfortable starting a family, buying a home, and I couldn't even afford to take vacations (other than stay-cations). Since all of these things are some of the most important parts of my life, I needed to make a change.


Transitioning from Phlebotomy to Engineering

Since middle-school, I have been coding and taking various coding classes, but never knew it was possible to do this as a job, or that it was something that I could do. It wasn't until over the years a portfolio of fun side-projects started to grow naturally that things started to "click".


I started to receive offers for contract positions from a few different companies looking to build their website. It was then, when I realized that I could actually make a living doing the same thing that I already do for a hobby! I just didn't have the proper guidance I needed. I started to focus my attention in finding a mentor to help me learn how to take software development seriously and what skills I needed and should focus on.


I decided to leave the medical position completely. I quit my job, and  focused my time and energy on learning, and work towards an internship or junior level coding position.


In less than a year, all of my hard work had paid off when I was offered a full-time junior level position for a startup in Boston. I had officially pivoted from healthcare to technology/engineering and I could not have been happier with my decision.


Conclusion

It has been a while now since working in the medical field, but I am stil quite knowledgeable in it: Medical-terminology, various blood tests, HIPPA, PHI, PPE, ICD-9 codes, etc... As well as other general knowledge of the medical field such as the duties of various roles a medical care provider could have, how to comunicate safely and properly to patients, or even the use of different medical equipment such as N95 respirators and AEDs.