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Graduate Spotlight ~ Hayleigh Williamson

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Hayleigh Williamson, I am 18 years old. I graduated from South Newton High School in 2023. I completed the hybrid Phlebotomy Technician course last August.

What were you doing before you attended Saint Joe?

Before starting the CPT course, I was a high school student working at Monical's Pizza.

How did you hear about our academic programs?

For years I had heard things about SJC and had a family friend tell me about his time at SJC taking the CPT course and it always stuck with me. Then when it came time to decide about life after graduation, it was practically a no brainer.

What made you choose Saint Joe?

Before graduating [high school], I knew that I wanted to go to a nontraditional form of college. I chose SJC because I wanted to be in a healthcare position without a four-year degree and a pile of debt. The coordinator and instructors at SJC made it easy to reach out with questions and gave us all the tools we needed to succeed.

What motivated you to enroll and continue your education?

I always knew I wanted to help people. For years I wanted to be a therapist or mental health worker of some sort.

Did you have any goals for yourself while enrolled in the program?

While I was enrolled in the program my goals were to learn as much as I possibly could before going out into the field. Any advice an instructor was willing to give I tried my best to apply every time I interacted with other students or when drawing.

What stood out to you about SJC, the people and your professors?

What stood out to me the most about the instructors and other classmates was how willing everyone was to help and give advice. The first time I was tasked with drawing a real person I was quite nervous, but with the help of instructors and classmates it felt much less overwhelming. The Coordinator Hali Chapman was always available to help, and she was happy to do so. The friendly personalities of my classmates and staff made it an easy choice for me.

Did you enjoy your class time?

I was always happy to go to class every week, it feels quite rewarding to go to a class that you enjoy learning in and answering questions. I didn't expect how much goes into Phlebotomy and the amount of studying it takes, but I will always say it was worth it every second. I enjoyed learning the science behind every test tube additive and tube top.

What is your favorite memory of your time spent at Saint Joe?

My favorite memory of SJC was drawing my classmates and watching how much we learned in such a short time. From being scared to draw on the fake arm, to always lending an arm to a fellow student.

Where are you currently working and what do you like about it?

Since finishing the program, I have obtained a job locally in Alverno Labs at the Franciscan Health Rensselaer Hospital. I love working in a small hospital because of the sense of community you feel with your coworkers and even patients. Working in such a small facility you see some of the same patient's multiple times and seeing a smile on your patient's face is the best reward you can ask for. All my coworkers work together to make everything run smoothly, and I appreciate that everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. I primarily work the night shift, so my night is mostly making sure everything is squared away for the next morning and drawing ER and Med Surg patients.

How did this class prepare you for your current job?

This class prepared me for my current job by giving me tips and tricks to make venipuncture easier on myself and the patient. This class also helped me get out of my shell and be comfortable with my patients.

What advice would you give to a current or interested student who aspires to follow in your footsteps and pursue a similar career path?

For anyone who is looking into phlebotomy or any course at SJC my advice is never to be scared to ask questions! Your instructors are meant to give all the tools you need to be successful in your career no matter what path you take. Scholarships are also ALWAYS out there, if you don't know where to look, just ask! Additionally, when it comes time to start a Phlebotomy job, keep a notebook or notes of some sort, those first few days will be a lot of trying to memorize things and finding your daily routine. Starting a new career is overwhelming no doubt, but it's also one of the most rewarding feelings when you get settled.

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