Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cadette 1st Aid Badge

I decided to sway away from the idea of general 1st aid when earning this badge.  Since I am a nurse my girls have received in depth training on first aid.  Instead I wanted the girls to learn the importance of blood donation.  And what better way to prove the point than visiting a blood donation center and having the girls watch me donate!  I encouraged the girls' parents to donate as well, but many were busy, unable to donate for personal reasons or excluded from donating once they arrived at the center. Thankfully my iron/hemoglobin was high enough to donate!  YEAH!  It often teeters on the low side and prevents from donating at times.

In the event you are thinking about a field trip to a blood donation center it is really important that you contact the center and make them aware of your intentions.  HIPAA and OSHA requirements are strict and the center needs to accommodate for their rules and regulations to make the tour safe and educational for the girls.  I included these rules and regulations and the reasons they are necessary as part of the girls' learning experience.

I created an educational hand-out for the girls.  I tried to make it simple and yet filled with interesting facts and statistics.  As they read through the information, I heard a lot of "WOW!" and "I did not know that!" kind of comments, so I knew the sheets had been effective.  While waiting for my screening process I played a trivia game with the girls, allowing them to use their "Blood Facts" sheets and they quickly learned a lot of information.  I also described the screening process to the girls since they were not allowed into the screening room.

Once my screening was complete, the girls lined up in the waiting are and the blood center was able to place me on a bed closest to the waiting area so the girls could peer over to see the entire donating process.  Some of the girls were a bit squeamish and could not watch the "whole" process, but I was proud to see every girl glance over several times to get the full experience.  A few of the girls felt the completed bag and could feel how warm my blood was and this was really a neat experience for them.

So now that I have your attention, I want to share with you a few amazing facts that will really make you realize as a leader how great this field trip can be to your girls:

  • By donating 1 unit (approximately 1 pint) you can SAVE 3 LIVES!
  • An adult has about 10-12 pints of blood in the body
  • Blood makes up about 7% of your body's weight.                                                                       
  • A newborn baby is born with about 1 cup of blood in it’s body  
  • You could DONATE 46.5 gallons: if you began at 17 and donate every 56 days until 79 yrs old
  • 3 gallons of blood is used every minute in the United States.   
  • The DFW area needs 1,100 donors a day to fulfill the demand.  
  • The US needs about 36,000 donors per a day to meet demands.
Next my girls will host a Blood Drive at their school for parents, teachers and staff on April 29.  They will serve GS Cookies :-) and juice to donors and encourage each donor to write a message on a paper heart explaining why they chose  to donate.  these hearts will be displayed on the front doors to the school and the Cadettes will read a few of the entries on the morning announcements along with a blood fact to help educate the school as well.

Setting up the event is fairly easy and blood donation centers are eager to help arrange the event.  You must approve the drive through your school district and principal.  You should allow 3 months in advance time for the blood center to arrange a date and get the staff.  You can arrange a bus event or a staffed event within the school.  I chose to have a bus parked in the parking lot after school so parents could "see" the event.  Also the blood center provided great and professional looking marketing materials to "advertise" the event.  I am using social media tools as well to hopefully secure donors like our PTO website, electronic newsletter and Facebook page.

You are more than welcome to use my Blood Fact informational hand-out.  Some of the material was obtained from these helpful sites:


  1. Wow! You made this sound so easy and super interesting. What a valuable life lesson for your girls to learn! What to go Shannon!

  2. Honestly it was pretty easy. Just a little coordination between the center, but as you mentioned definitely worth the effort! I do think the girls learned a lot! And thanks for the kind words!