Donating plasma takes little effort and can actually give you a boost in income if you go regularly, especially for a college student. However, things can go wrong at a plasma center, and the goal is to be knowledgeable before hand so that one can have a smooth and painless plasma donation each and every time. Here are some tips for unsuspecting donors:
Don’t get too comfortable. I have been donating plasma regularly for several months now, and usually, nothing goes wrong. However, one should not “settle in” and become extremely comfortable after being there for a while; when you relax, the phlebotomists relax as well, sometimes a little too much. On one particular day, my bandage was not put on correctly after my donation, and I unknowingly created a blood trail all the way to the bathroom. Now, I’m not saying that this incident was completely the fault of the phlebotomist; I did have a book bag on my shoulders which could have contributed to the massive blood leak. However, I had associated with this phlebotomist regular and so we had engaged in nonchalant conversation right before the bandaged was incorrectly wrapped. Conclusion; stick to professional terms.
Newbie or Pro? One must be careful as to who is allowed to stick them; that is, who is allowed to place a needle into that sacred and well needed vein. Sometimes a donation center will allow new phlebotomists to practice on an actual person trying to donate- these are the days where problems start to emerge. Veins are nothing to mess around with, and though new people need the practice, don’t let it be on you. For example, on two separate occasions, an unfamiliar person was attempting to insert a needle into my arm but claimed that they could not find the vein in my right arm, though that arm had been the primary point of insertion for several weeks prior. After a more experienced phlebotomist took over, there was no problem.
The buddy system. If at all possible, try not to go to a donation center by yourself. Donating plasma is fairly easy money; all you have to do is have appropriate iron and protein levels. With that being said, practically anybody can donate. I have seen some ex-cons and homeless guys in the donation center who go religiously every week. Of course, I’m not trying to categorize anyone, but as I said earlier, don’t get too comfortable with your surroundings, especially at the plasma center. You truly do not know who you are surrounding yourself with.
Those are a few tips for anyone who currently donates or is considering investing time at a plasma donation center. The extra cash is very beneficial, but make sure that the circumstances are safe. These are just based off of my personal experiences, but the goal is to prevent others from forgetting how to enter these facilities. One must enter with caution, because in the end, if anything happens, can you really hold the plasma center liable? The real answer is no. So happy donating and stay safe!