It started out as any normal day on the Globe University-Wausau campus until 10:30 a.m. when the big blue and yellow truck pulled up outside the front doors and began unloading the equipment that turned the commons area from a social meeting area to a blood collection center. The Blood Center of Wisconsin was on campus to gather as many donations of blood as possible from willing participants.
Students in the medical assistant CMA Review class were on hand to help unload equipment, set up a “recovery area” and recruit more willing donors for the goal of 62. Twice a year, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin schedules a blood drive at the Globe University-Wausau campus, seeking volunteers and donors to step up and roll up their sleeves.
This blood drive was one of the most successful to date on Wausau’s campus. According to Vicki Bohman, account representative for the Blood Center of Wisconsin, 63 people registered to donate; her staff collected 49 units of whole blood, one dual red and three collections of platelets.
“Blood Center staff who worked your blood drive enjoyed and appreciated the congeniality of your donors and volunteer workers. I appreciate all of the support everyone gave this blood drive,” said Vicki in a follow up letter. This blood drive also brought in 20 new donors. Anyone that attempted to donate received a certificate for four passes to Mount Olympus in Wisconsin Dells.
For those unaware of the donation process, it really is quite simple. It is usually best to make an appointment first, to secure a time in case you have a busy schedule. After checking in, you are escorted into a little cubical area where one of the friendly staff from the BloodCenter of Wisconsin gets all your vital information such as name, date of birth, pulse, blood pressure, temperature and a tiny drop of blood used to determine whether your iron count is high enough to be able to donate. After you answer a series of computer based questions, you are ushered to the lobby where another very friendly BCW staff member assists you into a comfortable reclining chair.
After a little preparation of your arm and a tiny pinch, you are instructed to squeeze a “stress” ball every 10 seconds or so as the blood fills a bag down on your side. When the bag is filled, a bandage wrap is applied, you are given instructions on what you should and should not do the remainder of the day, and you are escorted to a “recovery area.
In the recovery area, you are met by the smiling faces of the CMA Review students and a few other medical assistant students volunteering their time to oversee recent donors. You are encouraged to accept some juice or water as well as a snack from these helpful students, and you are then instructed to sit for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Once you have finished your juice and snack, you are allowed to leave the recovery area and go about the remainder of your day.
Each pint of whole blood that is donated has the potential to save three lives in the area. When the blood collected is returned to the BloodCenter of Wisconsin facility, it is separated into three categories and dispersed to clinics and hospitals in the area that are currently in need of these precious resources.
The BloodCenter of Wisconsin has a fantastic website with a wealth of information regarding the donation process, the types of donations, blood types, survival stories and upcoming blood drive locations. Anyone interested in learning more about donating blood can simply log onto www.bcu.edu.
Donating blood is an experience like no other. The minimal discomfort for a fraction of a second could make the difference between life and death for three people. There are not many times in your life that you can proudly stand up and say “I saved up to three lives today.”
The next blood drive on the Globe-Wausau campus will be November 25 from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the campus lobby. Consider becoming a donor. For more information about blood drive donations or helping out at the next blood drive, contact Kerry Miller-Mouzon, medical assistant program chair, or The BloodCenter of Wisconsin at 877-Be-A-Hero (877-232-4376).
By Kerry Miller-Mouzon, medical assistant program chair