For my senior Capstone, I decided to host a blood drive and I worked on creating a website for future SLA’ers or anyone in general to locate if they wanted to host their own blood drive. The main reason for my Capstone is because next year, I will be studying pre-nursing and rather than just shadowing a nurse and learning about what goes on in hospitals, I wanted to do something more and help people firsthand. Well, I’ll be helping firsthand in a way. I won’t be interacting with patients, but I will help them by signing everyone up for donations. The blood drive was a perfect way to do that because Philadelphia is a huge city with a lot of surrounding hospitals full of patients who need all different types of blood. Not only was I able to help patients directly, but I was able to educate some of my peers along with the Red Cross employees who came to visit. Not everyone realizes how much we need blood in hospitals because they help keep patients healthy rather than for blood transfusions.
My Capstone addresses the all of the SLA core values. I researched the many things about blood drives and blood types in order to be able to educate people on my Blood Drive Guide website. Until you’re a senior in Mr. Best’s Anatomy and Physiology class, you do not realize what the difference is between blood types and how fatal it could be if blood types were to mix. While doing these things, I also researched about high school students and donating blood in general. Basically, there are requirements high school students must meet in order to donate that normal donors do not due to their iron count and other things. I found ways to raise the iron count and sent out mass emails to everyone who signed up to donate so that it would not be a huge issue. I also had a team help me out from school and the Red Cross to gather donors. At the beginning of my blood drive sign-ups, there were not many people signed up. In order to get more people interested, we broke up into pairs (one SLA student and one Red Cross representative) to inform people up front. In the end, all of the information we gathered and presented to everyone resulted in a really high attendance of donors. A high attendance helped me exceed the original goal we had set.
In order to complete this Capstone, the first thing I had to do was find a contact from the Red Cross to guide me through the event process. I did not know how to plan such an important event so I asked a peer who had previously hosted a blood drive for her contact person. After we got in contact, we met and I got to get a better understanding of the blood drive. We met occasionally, but when we did, we established goals to have completed before our next meeting.
I think the most difficult thing about the event was when we planned it. The event was on the week after the week we got back from Spring Break. Right after Spring Break, I had to hustle to remind everyone to sign up for the blood drive. However we got over that issue by going to people to sign up rather than just waiting for them to find time on their own. I guess that was the most successful way to get people interested and to make it easier on them because it was Benchmark season at the time.
What I am most proud of in this Capstone was that the entire SLA community contributed to the blood drive in some way. Although not everyone donated, a lot of my peers have shown an interest but due to the weight requirements, they could not. Even if not everyone had the chance to donate if they wanted to, they still alerted their friends to participate as well. I did not expect for so many people to be interested in donating.
From this process, I learned more about the blood drive process. While I was researching things to teach everyone else, I also learned more about blood and everything in between for myself as well. Not only did I learn the scientific requirements for this Capstone, but I also learned how to host a school event. When gathering participants for an event, you have to make everything available and in their face in a way. Sometimes people are interested and consider doing something, but they forget by the time they have a moment to sign up. So going to all of the juniors and seniors in their advisories personally, I gathered more participants/donors than I had anticipated.
If I could do this Capstone all over again, I would definitely plan a better date to recruit donors. The event being the second Tuesday right after Spring Break made it difficult because I had a week to crunch down on time and get everyone to sign up. If I were to do this in the future, I would definitely keep the event date in mind. But other than that, I believe this was very successful. I think SLA will be better because I have set a new bar for future blood drive hosts. We broke our SLA record of donors and although the sign ups were at a rocky start, with my team’s determination to get as many people as we possibly could and the diversity of my team, we have been able to have a great drive.
"First Time Donors." American Red Cross. American Red Cross. Web. 22 Jan 2013. <http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/first-time-donors>
"About Blood." Give Blood: New England and North Wales. NHS Blood and Transplant. Web. 22 Jan 2013. <http://www.blood.co.uk/about-blood/>
"Why do people have different blood types?." Scientific American. Scientific American. Web. 31 Jan 2013. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-people-have-differ>
"Preparing Yourself to Give Blood." Give Blood: New England & North Wales. NHS: Blood and Transplant. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://www.blood.co.uk/giving-blood/prepare/>
"Genes & Blood Type." Genetic Science Learning Center. University of Utah. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/blood/>
"Donate Blood: Blood Collection Services."Community Blood Services. Community Blood Services. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://www.communitybloodservices.org/os_bloodservices.php>
"African American/Black Community Outreach Program." American Red Cross. American Red Cross. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://www.redcrossblood.org/info/pennjersey/african-americanblack-community-outreach-program>
"Asian Community Outreach Program." American Red Cross. American Red Cross. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://www.redcrossblood.org/info/pennjersey/asian-community-outreach-program>
"Donating Blood." Teens Health for Nemours. KidsHealth. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/jobs/donating_blood.html>
Rusenko, David, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri. Weebly. Weebly. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <www.weebly.com>
"Blood: What's Your Type?." Heart. The Franklin Institute. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://www.fi.edu/learn/heart/blood/types.html>
O'Neill, Dennis. Distribution of Blood Type. N.p.. Web. 1 Feb 2013. <http://anthro.palomar.edu/vary/vary_3.htm>
"The Coordinator's Toolkit | American Red Cross." American Red Cross - Give blood. American Red Cross, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.redcrossblood.org/hosting-blood-drive/coordinators-toolkit>.
"Blood Types | American Red Cross." American Red Cross - Give blood. American Red Cross, n.d. Web. 30 May 2013. <http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-types>.
Watkins, W. M. (2001), The ABO blood group system: historical background. Transfusion Medicine, 11: 243–265. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3148.2001.00321.x
"ABO Blood Types." Palomar College HUMAN BLOOD: An Introduction to Its Components and Types. Dennis O'Neill, n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <anthro.palomar.edu/blood/ABO_system.htm>.