Each year, approximately 12.6 million units of whole blood are donated in the United States. Without the hard work of phlebotomists, or blood collectors, it would be impossible for hospitals to receive blood for the patients and people who need it. September 7th marks the beginning of the tenth annual Blood Collectors Week. At Carter BloodCare, we want to show our phlebotomists how much they mean to our organization, our donors, and the thousands of recipients who benefit from their hard work across North, Central and East Texas.
So what is it that makes Carter BloodCare phlebotomists so great? Melanie Sexton, our Education Coordinator in North Texas, believes that the training our blood collectors receive provides them with the confidence to perform such an important task and make each donation fun, to create lifelong donors. Each Carter BloodCare phlebotomist goes through 10 weeks of training before they begin working in the field. Beginning with the basics, phlebotomists learn our computer systems, quality control, and how to perform our medical history screenings. Each donor has to go through a medical screening that includes a few intimate questions, and we make sure each blood collector is able to confidently discuss these questions in a way that makes our donors feel comfortable.
After basic training comes phlebotomist training. During this nine-week, specialized program, blood collectors hired for both mobile drives and donor centers practice collecting blood in the classroom until they are ready to go out into the field under the supervision of an instructor. Once the instructor believes they are proficient, they are released from training to begin their work as an official Carter BloodCare phlebotomist.
Our phlebotomists aren’t just drawing blood for a lab test; they are collecting living cells that will change someone’s life. Each of our phlebotomists serves as the face of Carter BloodCare, along with helping us create dedicated donors. Each Carter BloodCare phlebotomist makes every donation fun and unique. Whether it is singing their own parody of “Stayin’ Alive,” or finding ways to entertain donors, our blood collectors know that each time a donor has a good experience with us, they will want to come back and bring their family or friends.
Melanie Sexton has been with Carter BloodCare for 15 years and says her favorite thing about being one of our phlebotomists is watching people discover new strengths they didn’t know they had. “A lot of people think they can’t do this job but once they begin training they realize it is more about customer service and cultivating relationships,” says Sexton. “We have people coming in all the time curious about what we do, and they end up applying because they love the work and the community we have.”
There are many ways to show your Carter BloodCare phlebotomists your appreciation this Blood Collectors Week. You can pay it forward and bring a friend with you to donate so he or she can see what makes Carter BloodCare so great. Let your blood collector know about your first time donating with Carter BloodCare and what that phlebotomist did to help make your experience so special. No matter how you show your thanks, nothing makes Carter BloodCare phlebotomists happier than seeing our donors roll up their sleeves to give.
Carter BloodCare has approximately 400 certified phlebotomists working in the DFW metroplex alone. Each of them comes from a different background – from welding to veterinary work – but every blood collector helps Carter BloodCare provide a valuable, lifesaving resource to North, Central and East Texas. This week, take time to roll up your sleeves and reach out your arms to thank our Carter BloodCare blood collectors for making each blood donation a fun and special experience.