You Signed Up to Donate, Now What?
What happens when I donate?
- You’ll sign in at the registration table, where volunteers will make sure you have valid PHOTO ID, your signed consent form if you’re 16 years old, and that you’ve eaten breakfast.
- At this time you will also be given a small snack and bottle of water to consume while you’re filling out paperwork
- You’ll be given a donor health history form to fill out where we will ask about recent travel, medications, and more. This is a confidential form, so please keep your information private
- A phlebotomist will then privately go over the history form with you, and perform a mini-physical which includes checking your pulse, temperature, blood pressure and iron count. You may also be weighed to make sure you are at least 110 pounds.
- Once you have been screened, you’ll sit in one of our donor chairs and a phlebotomist will clean your arm. You will then donate blood, which takes about 5 to 8 minutes on average.
- Finally, your phlebotomist will let you move to the refreshment area for a snack and drink. Please relax with us for about 10 minutes and then head back to class.
Extra Tips on How to make your donation process go as smoothly as possible…
- Get a good night’s sleep. We know this is difficult to do when you’re balancing school, a job, a social life and so much more but your body & mind will thank you for those well deserved 8 hours of sleep!
- Eat breakfast! To make sure you have a great experience, eat a full meal within 4 hours of your donation. When you donate blood, you lose some of your body’s natural energy. By eating a full meal prior to donating, followed by a snack after, you will have the additional energy needed to compensate. IF you are donating blood in the morning, please eat a heavy breakfast, even if you don’t normally eat breakfast at all! Cereal, eggs, pancakes, bagels—the more you eat the better.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water before and during your donation. We’ll provide you with juice or pop after your donation.
- Distract yourself! Talk, text, or play a game on your phone. Snap a selfie (be sure to tag us!). Read, listen to music, draw or color. Anything to keep your mind busy while you save lives!
- Get tense. To prevent yourself from feeling dizzy or lightheaded during your donation, use this simple muscle tensing technique. Just cross your legs, tense your leg muscles and hold for 5 seconds and repeat! This is a great distraction and will work wonders on your anxiety too!
Just remember, with your donation you are helping to save lives in your community. How cool will that look on a college application?
The material presented is reproduced with permission of the copyright owner, Christopher R. France. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.