Nine phlebotomy students from Ohio Medical Career Center and their instructor Eva Thompson toured the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC) branch Tuesday, April 24 to get an up-close look at the work many of them will soon be doing, and to donate blood.
The students went through the donation process in the donor area, then went behind-to-scenes to see the blood component separation process in the component lab. On a final trip to the donor area, they got a chance to pepper training supervisor Paula Baker about what it takes to launch a career in phlebotomy and blood banking.
“Our biggest job is screening, not sticking,” Paula explained right from the start. After detailing the screening process, including new travel restrictions she pointed to the donor area and said, “Donors don’t get back here if they are in a at-risk group.”
The students are completing an intensive three-week program at OMCC. Those who get an opportunity to work at CBC will go through six weeks of rigorous training on Paula’s supervision. “This job is about 100 percent safety,” she warned as she explained the responsibility of the work. “You can’t mess up. You can’t.”
With the challenge of the work understood, Paula also shared with the young students the rewards. “It is the best place to do this work because of the people you meet,” she said. “They are the most awesome people on the planet. They’re here because someone they know has needed blood, and because they know someone else needs blood.”