Donating Blood on the Bus

When I received an email from the school I knew right away I wanted to donate blood since I've done it before and even wore an outfit very similar to the outfit I made for my  What to Wear When Donating Blood blog post. I had to sign up online and pick my time which didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. Leading up to my donation I received a reminder email. I wouldn't have forgotten though because at school today there was a whole health fair going on with all kinds of stuff, free massages, yoga class, lunch, women's health where I heard they were giving mammogram, as well as a whole lot of vendors that were related to health and fitness in some way or another. Unfortunately I didn't end up getting to visit any though because of my class schedule and blood donation time.

questionnaire for donating blood

I have to say I was a little confused when I found out that I had to go to the Blood Mobile Bus to donate blood because last time I in one of the rooms at school. Well, I was a little afraid that I'd go to the wrong door or "have the bus drive off with me" after my friend said it, but I walked up to front door of the bus (where you'd go if you were getting on it for a ride) and that was the right place to be. When I walked in they had me sit my stuff down, and asked for my identification and after the woman spent a few minutes typing stuff in, she handed back my license and gave me papers to fill out. 

First I had to read this booklet, which I thought was going to be terribly long but it was only a few pages. After that I signed this paper saying they could take an extra vial of blood for some new testing they're trying out, and then it was off to work on on the questions. There were so many but it wasn't too bad just fill in the bubbles yes or no. I have to say though that some of the questions asking about your partner, seem super unnecessary and things that someone wouldn't necessary know. I took a picture of them and posted them below so you can decide for yourself.
sexual contact questions before giving blood

When I handed the woman back the question sheet I must have answered everything right because she told me to go into this little booth where she sat across from me. The first thing she did was prick my finger checking for iron levels I believe, which is the most painful part of the of the whole donating blood process, after that she checked my blood pressure and then I went to the back of the bus to lay on this half upright chair that reminds me of the ones at dentist. After tying one of those rubber things around my arm and doing that whole make a fist and squeeze tightly, the blood taker rubbed my arm for thirty seconds with some sort of alcohol solution and then inserted the needle

 WARNING: Contained Blood Pictures Below

picture of tube on arm with blood
 And here's my blood flowing, the needle didn't hurt at all gong in although I jumped a little, and once it was in all I had to do was sit there in that comfy dentist chair. I watched her take out six vials of blood, I'm assuming that's what they use to test for blood transmitted diseases, so really, I gave more than the one pint that's going to someone. Then it was just waiting, luckily the woman taking the blood was very nice and so I just talked to her. Towards the end I felt my fingers get a little cold and when I had only a little left my veins decided they had enough of the whole thing so I had to squeeze this stress reliever like thing to get the rest out. 
blood pint donation in bag
 And there it is, a whole pint of blood home made all by me alone. Since I'm an engineering major and not a nursing one, I have no idea why its such a dark color, and I'm sorry to those of you that really didn't want to see this photo… But I warned you. For me though its so interesting, and I'm so proud of myself that I might have to make it my phone background. After applying pressure to my blood letting hole for a few minutes the woman who took my blood bandaged me up, and I headed to the very pack of the blood mobile for snacks
picture of arm after blood donation
blood donation snacks

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