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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Nursing program, Men in Nursing club holds blood drive at SBCC

Nate Stephenson
Kaitlyn Wyman has the needle removed from her arm after giving blood for the first time at the blood drive on West Campus in front of the Luria library hosted by Vitalent, the Student Nurses Association and Men in Nursing on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Santa Barbara, Calif. “I’m just trying not to faint,” said Wyman “I’m just reading these tips on how to not faint to distract myself.”

As Thanksgiving week starts, the theme of giving kicked off at City College on Monday with a blood drive hosted by the Associate Nursing Degree Program, Men in Nursing and the Student Nurses Association, along with Vitalant.

A “Bloodmobile” parked outside the Learning Resource Center invited students to donate blood to Vitalant, formerly named United Blood Services. 

Tony Beas, president of the Men in Nursing club, said the two student nursing organizations were looking for ways to further help the community.

“Any blood is successful,” Beas said. “Another good thing is the blood [donated] here is kept here in Santa Barbara.”

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Students were able to make appointments in advance through Vitalant’s website or donate the same day without an appointment.

23 people signed up for appointments ahead of the blood drive and there were at least six walk-in donations within the first hour and a half of the drive.

The student nursing organizations have said that they hope to host many more blood drives with Vitalant and have planned more for the next few months.

Vitalant’s website already shows at least four blood drives taking place between mid-January and February under City College’s sponsor code, 1066.

Since donating blood can take about an hour, Beas said, “If [students] can’t donate now, we encourage anyone to stop by the [donation] centers.”

For many students, this blood drive was their first time donating blood.

“I’ve never donated blood before,” said student Kaitlyn Wyman, who said she wanted to donate since she has type O-negative blood, the universal blood type. “I just feel like I’m gonna faint.”

Students who donated at the blood drive each received a Vitalant fanny pack. Another incentive to donate is the relatively new feature through Vitalant that sends a text message to donors when their donated blood is used.

“It’s really rewarding to know that the blood you donated was used to help somebody,” Beas said. “It kind of adds a different dimension to your donation.”

Blood is always needed as there is a persistent nationwide shortage. One pint of blood can save up to three lives, said Vitalant Donor Recruitment Representative Diane Frantela.

“A very small percentage of people are eligible to donate and an even smaller percentage of people that are eligible actually do donate,” Frantela said. “We need a supply of blood in the hospital shelves at all times.”

Vitalant frequently holds blood drives through local high schools and colleges and in the past, Frantela said that City College blood drives usually receive around 25-30 units of blood.

“One in seven people who enter the hospital will need a blood transfusion,” Frantela said. “So the need is always there.”

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