Blood Donation drives teach students altruism and job skills

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Each year, the high schools of Battle Ground Public Schools host multiple blood donation drives in partnership with the American Red Cross. 

Last week, the associated student body club at Summit View High School welcomed an American Red Cross Bloodmobile to campus. Students in the ASB club helped coordinate and advertise their donation event weeks in advance and also helped out in the canteen on the day of the drive. 

Prairie High School is set to host its second donation drive of the year on Friday, Dec. 13, with another scheduled next year. These drives are not only an opportunity for staff and students to give back and save lives, but also provide learning opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care. 

Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructor Melissa Levine teaches health science, advanced health science and family health courses at Prairie High School. She is also the adviser for the school’s Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club. Levine and her students have been working together for the past few weeks preparing for the school’s second blood drive. 

Levine uses the blood drives to teach her students about many aspects of working in the medical field. Her students learn how donated blood is broken down into red blood cells, platelets and plasma as well as how the blood is used to save lives. 

“One of the main goals of CTE programs is to get students career ready,” Levine said in a news release. “Hosting and organizing blood donation drives provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and gain relevant experience in their future career fields, all while developing crucial social and leadership skills. It’s a great way for students to build their resumes and prepare for that next step after high school.”

Through creating posters and recording video for the blood drives, students gain marketing and public relations skills. Over the past month, HOSA students have set up a table in the commons during lunch to encourage students to donate. Levine said this face-to-face interaction teaches listening skills that are videl for medical professionals. 

“By listening and hearing what a patient’s concerns are, you can get around potential barriers to effective treatment,” Levine said. “Being empathetic with patients and their concerns is key, and it all starts with learning to be a good listener.”

“I’ve learned so much thanks to Mrs. Levine and through working to organize Prairie’s blood drive,” PHS junior Victoria Martin del Campo said in the release. “I’ve been exposed to so many great opportunities just this year alone. Best of all are the connections I’ve made with other students who share my interest in working in the healthcare field and helping others.”

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