On Tuesday, I took an optional day-long course at CCF to learn how to draw blood. It was free, and phlebotomy seems like a useful skill to have, so I figured why not. There were four of us who did it. First, we were shown the different types of needles and tubes for collecting blood. Then we each went out with a phlebotomist to draw blood on actual patients. Each time you draw blood, it is called a "stick." We had to get eight sticks to be certified. My phlebotomist didn't have very many patients on his list, but two of them let me draw their blood and I got them both on the first try. Then I got my last six sticks on some of the other phlebotomists who were coming in to change shifts. There was one I couldn't get, but I thought getting 7 out of 8 sticks was pretty good for a novice like me!
I'm doing an online elective this week and next week so that I could go out of town. It's on preventive medicine, and there are a bunch of modules we are supposed to read, followed by an online test that we have to take. The online test has 31 questions, which looked pretty scary until I realized that the first 15 are in groups of five that go together, and the last 16 are in pairs with one multiple choice and one essay. It's going pretty fast. I already am pretty much done with the whole test. The modules are another story. They are really long, and they have different reports and articles linked to them. It would take a lot longer than two weeks to read them all, so I decided to start working on the test and then just read the relevant parts of the modules as I went along. That made things a lot more efficient.
We had an afternoon seminar today on biomarkers, which I missed since I'm not there. I can't say I'm terribly broken up about this. :-)