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Roll Up Your Sleeves for the Eighth Annual Sticks 4 Kicks

Get ready to roll up your sleeves! Woodward Career Technical High School and Riverview East Academy phlebotomy students will hone their craft on volunteer blood donors while they prepare for their first medical certification exam during the 8th annual Sticks 4 Kicks Allied Health Simulated Clinical February 13-15, 2024. 

Woodward Career Technical High School teacher Candace Jones initiated Sticks 4 Kicks to provide students with real-life experience before graduation. Mock exercises and demonstrations don’t always get the job done, Jones explains.

“It gives them actual practice doing it on live patients versus what a lot of schools do, which is practice on mannequins,” Jones said.

The three-day event allows medical professionals to offer tips and best practices while supervising students as they draw blood, screen for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and liver function from community volunteers, including parents, classmates and faculty members. Like an internship, students learn soft, interpersonal skills as they take direction and receive feedback from those outside the classroom. Students are required to complete 30 successful blood draws to obtain eligibility for the Certified National Phlebotomy Exam.

The event was so successful in previous years, that phlebotomy students from Riverview East joined in on the blood draw and will return again this year. 

Jones said there’s something in it for the medical volunteers, too, as they’re rewarded by the impact made on future health professionals. She’s excited to see returning volunteers, invite former students and watch the program grow in hopes of getting the community more involved each year.

“If somebody gave to you, then you have to give back. If somebody helps you grow, you need to make sure someone else grows, too,” Jones said. “We all need health care. We all need people who are well trained in their field to help us get better and stay healthy.”

This year’s Sticks 4 Kicks event will be held from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. February 13-15, 2024 in Woodward’s Media Center Room. Interested donors and medical volunteers can register here or contact Jones at (513) 309-4219 or jonecan@cps-k12.org.