“At 43 years of age, I had to reinvent myself and change course,” said Roland Hill. After 18 years in manufacturing, he found himself looking for a new skill. He went from inventory supervisor at a local company to student at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC), where he is studying phlebotomy.
“As a phlebotomist, no machine can ever replace me,” he said with a smile. Since the spring of 2014, Roland has taken classes at LFCC. He is married and has a 10 year- old daughter named Kiara. He runs the household, packing lunches for both of his girls every morning before they leave the house. “It’s been a big transition not to be the breadwinner…I’ve worked since I was fifteen, but my wife has been very supportive and believed in my choice to go back to school.” His daughter is also supportive in that she loves to help him study.
Now Roland is working on his externship whereby he draws blood from patients at Winchester Medical Consultants. “After 100 clinical hours and 100 successful sticks, I will garner my career studies certificate in phlebotomy and will sit for the national examination to become certified as a Phlebotomy Technician,” he explained. Roland is very engaging and admits that college courses can be challenging. “My professors are very knowledgeable, especially Jan McLaughlin, Biology Professor, as she is respected for her constructive criticism. She’s a realist and makes it known that her job is to teach you,” said Rolland.
The patients Roland works with at Winchester Medical Consultants come from all walks of life. His “people skills” come in handy, as no one really likes getting their blood drawn. He works hard to make everyone feel as comfortable as he can and is even taking sign language classes at LFCC so that he can communicate with Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients.
Roland is a native of Baltimore, MD and resides with his family in Winchester, VA. He served in the military for two years after graduating from high school.