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Advice with Patient Care experience and Volunteer hours

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I'm currently at a community college, still having to complete 1 year of O Chem, 1 year Physics, 1/2 yr Calculus, 1/2 yr Statistics and 1 year Form/Function in the Bio World, before transferring to a 4 yr to complete upper division courses (about 30 units - perhaps achievable in just over one year)...I am pursuing Biology with concentration in Physiology. I currently work part time, 4-5 nights per week (not in health field).

I have no volunteer hours and no patient care or health care hours. So I need some advice about what to do.

I would prefer Phlebotomy first or Medical Assisting for care hours...however, I'm seeing some conflicts. Kaiser offers a 2.5 month Phlebotomy program during the summer which would fit perfectly into my schedule. De Anza offers a Phlebotomy/EKG Tech program that lasts 12 months, apparently part time. But I've come across complaints online from Phlebotomists that they are not being offered positions; they are told they do not have experience...Apparently it is hard to find places that will hire newly certified Phlebotomists. If this is the case, I would assume that my area -Northern California- is stricter than most about this. I did view open Phlebotomy positions on Indeed in the past and do recall seeing a required minimum experience. I don't want to go through the program only to be rejected throughout the year or two that I need to be collecting experience. Has anyone had experience with Phlebotomy or just know if this happens to be the case - difficulty finding work? 

Medical Assisting on the other hand requires a year long program that is absolutely full time (program at my CC - De Anza or program at Kaiser). I just turned 26 and NEED to just finish my degree. Some of these MA programs are a full time job, requiring much of the working day, every day of the week...and I'll be taking very time consuming classes like Organic Chemistry and Physics. But Medical Assisting seems to be a preferable way to gain valuable experience hours. Were you able to complete a Med. Assisting program while working on a degree? What do most people do? 


I know I need to start as soon as possible because I'm seeing that competitive applicants have 4000-8000 experience hours. I suppose I also need volunteer hours, so ideas would be great as well.  



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I can't say from personal experience, but I have definitely heard that finding phlebotomy jobs can be difficult. It's hard to say though because I am not from your area. 


Have you considered possibly getting certified as an EMT-B? It's good experience, the course can be completed pretty quickly if you find the right one, and usually you can get about 18-36 hours a week while going to school full time if you are dedicated. 

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