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Underwood Notes

Allison grew up on the east side of Wauwatosa, and now is a music teacher who lives on the west side of Tosa with her husband Nick. She enjoys working with a couple local non-profits, playing out with her wind quintet, listening to live music, attending arts events, baking, cycling, and wine.

Understanding and the Blood Center

Places in the Community

This post was almost going to have a completely different tone to it - but then, I found out more information.

I am a regular at the Blood Center of Wisconsin, on Watertown Plank Road. I have felt very strongly that donating blood is something easy an extremely important to do. It takes just a little time, you can only possible do it once every couple months, and you are donating a commodity that money cannot buy and scientists cannot re-create. Besides - every time you stop in, it's like a mini check-up with the doctor (your blood pressure, platelet count, heart rate and blood are all tested). 

Today I was in for my appointment. I got there, sat down to answer all of those lovely health history questions, and waited. And waited. A half hour passed before I was seen for pulse/blood pressure check. I was feeling so cranky! Especially since it is posted at the check-in area that the average total time it takes for the entire whole blood donation process is 40 minutes. My time is important - why didn't they know that? Why had no one seen me? In all my times there, I'd never had to wait for more than a minute at that point in the process. 

As I was just about to walk out, an employee walked in to my room. She said "sorry for the wait." Then she saw what time I arrived, and was imediately more apologetic, asking if it was still OK to continue with the process. Not even any excuses given - which I think it the appropriate way of handling things.

When it came time to actually give blood, as I was sitting there, I learned more about what was going on. Walk-ins had come in (which is advised against - although they need donations, they staff based on appointments) and another woman was in there who had confused her appointment date, etc. More staff was actually supposed to be arriving in about five minutes.

The Blood Center of Wisconsin is a non-profit, i.e. they do what they can with as little possible - including staffing. They really can only plan to staff for what they know is coming in. Overall, they do a great job. Now and then I have had other issues with donations (and arm bruising sometimes weeks later), but in the grand scheme of things, they were petty. It is so much more important just to give blood. Not enough people do it, and there is often a great need.

There you have it, my PSA. I don't do many of these; just wanted to offer some perspective. I sure needed it earlier today, after all!

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