MOUNT VERNON – Hospital beds and medical equipment lined the small gym at Mount Vernon High School for the blood drive hosted by the SkillsUSA Club. SkillsUSA is a student-led organization representing career and technical education students and teachers across the country. The blood drive, open to the community, was held on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.
Nursing students participating in the blood drive received valuable experience with medical procedures, and they earned community service hours for their work. Students got an up-close look at medical equipment they may use in the future.
“This blood drive is to help save other people’s lives that need blood,” said Sarah Duran, a senior at MVHS who is in the nursing program. “It can help people, and you’re also going to be informed about your blood type. This makes it easier to save your life if anything happens. This year in nursing, we are also going to clinical, so we will go to a nursing home, take care of residents and do basic nursing tasks.”
Phlebotomists from the New York Blood Center visited MVHS and drew blood from donors.
By donating blood, someone can save up to three lives, and that motivated students to volunteer and help in whatever ways they could.
“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of the Health and Careers and Nursing Assistant students,” said Bonnie Ball, nurse instructor at MVHS. “They organized the blood drive as part of SkillsUSA. They greeted potential donors and escorted donors to the canteen for snacks and drinks, helping them rehydrate. They reported to the staff if the donor wasn’t feeling well. This was a great experience for the students. We are looking forward to the next blood drive in the spring.”
Many of the students will be certified as nursing assistants upon completion of the program, so they received experience that could be valuable to their future careers. Another blood drive will be held in spring 2024.