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Annual HHS Blood Drive Continues Success

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By: Lynn Dang, video by Cara McErlean

The students of HHS can become heroes every spring.

Run by Healthcare Career Exploration (HCEP) students, the HHS Blood Drive occurred on April 1, 2016. These volunteers prepared and planned about a month in advance. HCEP students experienced the rewarding benefits of volunteering because they know they’re helping to save lives.

Sareena Fayaz, HHS senior, was one of the leaders of organizing the blood drive. She had been involved in both the preparation and actual event. Fayaz attended a conference in the fall to learn about ideas to improve blood drives.

Along with Fayaz, fellow HCEP member Vathana Oukan attended the conference. They interacted with other schools and brainstormed ideas about increasing the number of blood donations. Additionally, they learned the basics of blood drives such as where blood donations go and the process to donate blood.

Fayaz and Oukan, along with all other HCEP interns, were recruited to volunteer by HHS Nurse, Tara Blackburn. “Since HCEP does rotations at the medical center, and we are going into medicine, Mrs. Blackburn always gets us interns to help with the [blood] drive,” Oukan said.

One of the ways HCEP helped was with the advocacy aspect of the drive. Fayaz made the promotional blood drive video that appeared on the morning announcements. She also helped run the lunch sign-ups that occurred on March 29, 30, and 31.

Superhero signs encouraging people to sign up to donate lined hallways weeks before the blood drive. Annual themes are chosen by the Central PA Blood Bank.

Fayaz believed this year’s theme was great. “Especially with all of the superhero movies that are coming out soon,” Fayaz said. Furthermore, the superhero theme enabled the blood drive to be promoted through the Superhero Senior Day on April 1.

Volunteering for the blood drive has been a tradition for HCEP for years. It’s not mandatory to help, but all the HCEP students did anyway. “We’re kind of like a family, so everyone is willing to  contribute in some way,” Fayaz said.

Helping with the blood drive enabled them get accustomed to blood. Because HCEP students want to possibly have future careers in healthcare, it’s beneficial to be exposed to blood, a big part of healthcare.

According to Fayaz, Hershey is an especially important place to donate blood due to the nearby medical center. Blood is needed for cancer, transplant, trauma, other patients, some newborn babies, and surgeries. “It puts into perspective how important blood is to healthcare,” Fayaz said.

However, the biggest reason HCEP students volunteered was to give back to the community. Oukan believes knowing the importance of helping others is important in healthcare. “You are going into a field where you must have the compassion to help others get better,” Oukan said.

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Annual HHS Blood Drive Continues Success