Eta Omega, the honor society for nursing students at BC, is preparing to help host an on-campus blood drive, where students will have the opportunity to give blood that will help patients in local hospitals.
The event, which will be held in room D106 on Nov. 7, is the result of a partnership with Bloodworks Northwest, which provides blood donations to 90 different hospitals and health clinics around the region. It will start at 9:30 a.m. and go until 3:30 p.m.
This will be the fourth time the blood drive has been done, according to Eta Omega president Jamie Sain. “Every cohort has organized this blood drive for the past three quarters,” she said. “We are trying to make it become a tradition.”
Sain also discussed the blood drive’s planning process, saying that it required them to coordinate a date and supplies for the event. She also said that they had to work with BC to find an available room.
More elements of the planning process were discussed by Eta Omega Vice-President Kyra Mcclung. “Once we found a room, things went quickly,” she said. “We just had to show the school what our plan was for approval, and getting the needed materials from Bloodworks was easy.”
A person who wants to give blood must schedule their appointment for the event beforehand. This should be done quickly, as spots are running out.
In addition, you must meet a certain set of requirements in order to donate. These include being 18 years or older, unless you have a permission form signed by a parent or guardian; weighing 110 or more pounds; and not feeling sick the day you arrive. When you arrive, you must be screened by Bloodworks before you can donate. A donation involves giving one pint of blood.
Before donating, Bloodworks lists certain things you can do to prepare. These include hydrating, eating salty foods and having a good breakfast. You must also bring a photo ID with you.
On the day of the donation, you must also fill out a “Quick Pass” before you actually arrive. This involves answering a questionnaire with 40 questions related to your health history. A barcode will then be shown, which you must print out or screenshot so you can have it with you when you arrive.
Eta Omega not only wants students to give blood, but to understand its importance. “We’re in a blood shortage right now, and blood is lifesaving,” Sain said. “One transfusion can save someone’s life, and it only takes an hour to give.”
According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, 25% of people will need a transfusion at least once in their life.
Getting younger people involved is considered an important goal, according to nursing student Suzanne Feinstein. “We are bringing the project to Bellevue College so younger people can find out that donating is quick and not scary,” she said. “Anyone who donates blood is treated like a hero….It’s a noble thing to do.”
The process can be pleasant, according to Mcclung. “The workers at Bloodworks are the nicest people,” she said. “They give you blankets and a squeezy ball.”
In addition to squeeze balls, participants who donate will also get snacks.
Sain also stated that Bloodworks employees are very nice when you are donating. “After they [bandaged] my arm, they put a little bow in it,” she said. “That’s such a cute detail that they didn’t have to do.”