Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood for medical purposes. This is an essential part of our business, but just one component. Another essential component is the people. Women have played an essential role in this field and its history. Join us as we explore the stories of some of the remarkable women who have made significant contributions to the history of lab services in the United States and one remarkable woman who is making her name in the Alaskan world. We are excited to share some history, and share below an exclusive interview with Anne Kapella.
Dr. Dorothy Reed Mendenhall – Dr. Mendenhall was an American pathologist who made significant contributions to the understanding of blood cell morphology and the identification of leukemia cells. She also helped establish the first blood bank in the United States and was a pioneer in the development of blood transfusion techniques.
Mary Eliza Mahoney – Mahoney was the first African American woman to become a registered nurse in the United States. She was known for her exceptional patient care and dedication to improving public health. Mahoney was a staunch advocate for women’s rights and worked to promote equality and diversity in the nursing profession.
Nancy L. Kimmel: Kimmel is an American phlebotomist who founded the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians in 1983. She has been an advocate for professionalizing the field of phlebotomy and improving the training and education of phlebotomy technicians.
Susan Phelan: Phelan is an American phlebotomy educator and author who has written several books on the subject, including “Phlebotomy: A Competency-Based Approach” and “Complete Phlebotomy Exam Review.” She has been instrumental in developing and promoting standards for phlebotomy education and training.
Dr. Rosalyn Yalow – Yalow was an American medical physicist who developed the radioimmunoassay technique, a groundbreaking method for measuring minute amounts of hormones and other biological substances in the body. Her work revolutionized medical testing and diagnosis, making it possible to detect diseases and conditions much earlier than before.
Anne Kapella- Kapella has been working with MedPhysicals Plus in our Anchorage office. She is often receiving high reviews online from customers. She is known for her positive attitude, and flexibility on the job. It makes her a perfect fit for our employer services as there is always a customization that is needed. She embodies business meets medical in every aspect of her work.
To conclude our list, we have a very incredible woman we want to highlight. Join us in congratulating Anne from our Anchorage office on her 4-year anniversary with our company. We have below an amazing interview highlighting her achievements and journey with MedPhysicals Plus.
Anne started working with MedPhysicals Plus on the administrative/clerical side and grew to be just as excited about the employer services side. “I started at MPP not knowing how to do a drug screen, a DNA test, or anything related to insurance,” remembers Anne.
Did you know women hold 80% of phlebotomy positions? Anne herself is not a phlebotomist, but she has certifications in drug screening and works closely alongside the phlebotomists.
“I actually think men have a harder time in the field. Women have an advantage! I tend to prefer a female phlebotomist, as they tend to be more gentle and more personable. Men are (often) more ‘straight to the point.’ Less time to know the client.”
She compares the sensitivity on her side of the business to that of phlebotomy, which is focused on DNA testing and drug testing (such as hair and nail testing).
“I’ve had to deal with apprehensive small children to adults that were not happy about it, and I just try to talk to them to make them smile, and they always tend to leave with a smile on their face, and it’s awesome,” notes Anne.
What advice do you have for people going into lab, phlebotomy, employer services, or anything in the health field?
“Any skill you learn makes you more employable. It’s good to learn how to do everything in the office; we have an extern right now who is just in phlebotomy, but she’s learning how to schedule, and she’s learning how to do DNA, so that’ll just make her a better employee somewhere else someday,” she explains.
Anne reflects back on her time with MPP and says this: “I can’t believe the changes that have happened since I started with MPP! I have learned so much, and I’ve become a certified drug trainer and breathalyzer trainer. I met lots of great people along the way. Jessica (the CEO and founder of MPP) has inspired me to be the best I can be. I started and finished an associate degree in business management while at MPP. She has been a mentor.”
What is the state of the union for women in the medical field in 2023?
“I have found women are being looked at as an asset now for a business instead of a liability. We bring so many things to the table, no matter the age or experience. I would like society to acknowledge that older women, in particular, are an amazing addition to a workplace as they bring life experience as well as education,” notes Anne.
Women are always breaking barriers, challenging social norms. Women are often stereotyped based on age, race, their family, and so on.
“Sometimes it is hard to be taken seriously if you do not fit the mold of who they expect for the position. Usually someone younger is in this field of work or on the way out . For me, just starting at 51 was hard. Learning new technology and new systems has been challenging. I just resolve to learn whatever new system comes along. I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the last 4 years here at MPP, she explains. “I have started late in the game for a career (based on some standards). I went back to work 10 years ago, after choosing to stay home to raise my children. I guess my age and lack of (traditional) work experience were obstacles I had to overcome. I have had to sell myself and how I can be an asset to an employer, and I am willing to learn anything handed to me,” she explains further.
Anne’s story serves as a powerful example of women making history. Women of all ages and backgrounds can make history. We thank her for being courageous and sharing her thoughts with our readers. Women’s achievements have not only advanced medical science but have also paved the way for future generations of women in the health industries. Their stories are a powerful reminder of how important it is for the medical field to be diverse, fair, and open to everyone. Again, MPP encourages you to celebrate your employees throughout Women’s History Month.