I donated blood for the first time on June 15, 2017
I was a little nervous as I didn't really know what to expect and I'm also a little afraid of needles.
I walked into the clinic and had someone greet me and ask if I would like to book my next appointment and I said sure. They then gave me a sticker that said "Be nice I'm new" and told me to wait at the front desk for someone to come and help. A lady then came and asked for ID and asked a few questions and printed out a piece of paper with my donor ID and told me to go across the room to complete a questionnaire. I then completed the questionnaire and went on and grabbed a brochure and number and went to go sit in a waiting area and read the brochure which tells you about the donation process and the possible side effects and what to expect. They then called my number up and bring me into a room and ask me some more questions and check my hemoglobin levels by a finger prick.
They then asked me to read a short paragraph saying how important it is for them to have all the correct information and have told them about any medical problems or if I use drugs and that I'm also allowed to stop the donation process at any time. I then had to sign and the lady then gave me a bag with all the necessary things for the donation.
I went to another area to sit down and wait until my name was called. I then went to sit down on a big chair with a long arm rest to lay your arm out to donate blood. They then asked me how I was doing and told me again at any time I want to stop just to let them know. (I was told this several times throughout the entire appointment) They then told me they were going to clean my arm where the needle will be inserted and sterilized the area with some medical cleaner.
They then told me to look away and go to my happy place. They then inserted the needle which hurt for a few seconds but then subsided about 10 seconds later than couldn't feel anything. I then relaxed and just waited. I was asked multiple times how I was doing and if I needed anything. The donation process takes about 10-15 minutes.
near the end of the donation I started getting light headed and let staff know and they quickly sprang into action and lay me back put cold cloths around my face and neck aimed a fan at me and I quickly started feeling better. I was then told to lay back for a few minutes and slowly get up when I was ready. Another donor said don't worry it happened to me the first time I donated and said it'll be better next time.
I then went to another area where I was told to wait for another 15 minutes before I could leave. I then enjoyed a can of sprite a fruit cup some cookies and a granola bar.
My experience donating blood was great I felt like I was part of the team and the entire staff was very friendly and supportive. I'm about to donate again in 3 days for the second time.
I found out that I have a blood type that is pretty rare as only about 6% of Canadians have my blood type A-
I encourage any one who can to donate even if you're a little afraid. Even if you just donate once would be ok as you may end up thinking it's not as bad as you think and want to do it again but don't let your fear get in the way of saving a persons life.