Wednesday 19 January 2022

Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), Travel Nurses, Travel Nursing, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Skill, Nursing Job, Nursing Career

Through the pandemic, the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) in California enacted policies that allowed nurses who were licensed in any state to work in California. However, on March 31, 2022, the executive order that allowed that provision is expiring.

That means that any out-of-state nurses who do not specifically have a California nursing license will not be allowed to work in California anymore.

According to the California Board of Nursing, any travel nurses who wish to continue working in the state must get a California endorsement. Interim licenses are allowed, but if you don’t have a CA license, you’re out. And unfortunately, those changes may only exacerbate nursing shortages in the state as well. 

How to Get Licensed

With the changes coming up quickly, the California Board of Nursing is encouraging any travel nurses who want to continue to work in the state to get their CA nursing license immediately. Travel nurses who have been working in the state can apply for Licensure by Endorsement online. In order to be eligible for Licensure by Endorsement, you need to meet the following qualifications: 

◉ Have a current and active nursing license in another state

◉ Passed your NCLEX or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) 

◉ Completed an educational program that meets all California requirements

It’s that last stipulation—passing a program that meets all California’s requirements–that is tripping some people up because California has a microbiology clinical lab requirement for all of its licensed nurses. If you didn’t take microbiology with a lab as part of your nursing program, you may be required to take the class now and submit documentation of successful completion in order to receive your license. 

Some nurses who have had to go through the process recommend taking it at a community college if it’s required since that will be the most cost-effective strategy. Additionally, you may be able to take the class portion online and complete only the lab portion in person. Nurses from different countries will have additional stipulations as well. 

What You Can Do Now

According to The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), out-of-state RNs should apply for licensure by endorsement as soon as possible. They explain that all applications will be processed according to the order they were received; that means that if you wait until the last minute, your application may not be processed in time for you to continue working once that March 31 deadline hits.

The good news is, they also explained that once you apply for your permanent licensure by endorsement, you can apply for a Temporary License right away. The temporary license will be valid for six months, so it should allow any out-of-state nurses enough time to continue working while their permanent license application is processed. 

If you currently are a travel nurse in CA and your agency or healthcare facility has not mentioned the upcoming changes yet, you should definitely speak to them about what you need to do and take steps to apply for your licensure by endorsement right away. Additionally, if you are taking a CA travel nursing position anytime soon, you may need to submit proof that you have applied for licensure by endorsement as well. Some travel nursing jobs are requiring proof of receipt that you have applied, so be prepared if you plan to take a CA nursing job in the next few weeks. 

The bottom line is that if you don’t have a CA nursing license and want to have the option to work in the state as a travel nurse this year, you’re going to want to apply for your Licensure by Endorsement right away. And if you’re already working in the state, don’t forget to apply for your temporary license in the meantime too, so you don’t lose your job come April 1st. 

Nurses who aren’t prepared ahead of time may lose their jobs and staffing agencies may have a harder time finding nurses with the proper licensure to fill positions, so any nurse who has the correct California nursing license is going to be in a prime role to take on higher-paying travel assignments this spring. 


Wednesday 12 January 2022

Nursing Staff, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill

Hospitals throughout the country are dealing with nurse burnout, high turnover rates, and staffing shortages in a variety of ways. Some have brought in travel nurses to fill gaps, others have mandated overtime while other healthcare systems have simply ignored the ongoing issues and let staff drown. 

Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas has implemented the use of several Moxi Robots on the nursing units. Moxi, named one of Time Magazine's 100 Best Inventions in 2019, is set to revolutionize healthcare. But how much can a robot really help bedside nurses, especially those caring for patients in isolation?

Meet Moxi

Nursing Staff, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill

Moxi, created by Diligent Robotics, helps hospitals run 24/7 according to the website. The purpose of Moxi is to assist clinical staff was non-patient-facing tasks such as:

◉ Delivering lab samples 
◉ Delivering medications
◉ Distributing PPE
◉ Fetching items from central supply 
◉ Running patient supplies 

Diligent Robotics, an Austin-based company, was founded in 2017 by two female robotics experts is paving the way for artificial intelligence in the healthcare space. Moxi, the first in-production robot from the company, has been designed to continuously adapt to changes in hospital workflows by learning from the humans it interacts with. Moxi is equipped with an arm, gripping hand, and mobility that allows it to carry light medical resources, navigate the hospital corridors and drop them off for nurses and other staff.

Prior to launching the company and designing Moxi, cofounders Dr. Andrea Thomaz and Dr. Vivian Chuh, as well as a team of researchers spent over 150 hours shadowing nurses at three major hospitals in Texas. During their time, they learned healthcare workers spent up to 30% of their time "hunting and gathering" for supplies, in which Thomaz felt could be better spent focusing on what nurses do best — patient care.

"Nurses and clinicians are amazing," Thomaz said. "They do anything for their patients. If they need to run to the lab to get something, they do it. If they need to run to the pharmacy, they'll do it without complaint." Moxi was the solution -  way to help healthcare workers, specifically nurses. And thus, Diligent Robotics was born. 

According to the website, Moxi’s core technical features were designed to be compatible with the busy, semi-structured environments of hospitals,  including: 

◉ Social intelligence: opens elevators and doors on its own, won’t bump into people or objects in hallways, happily poses for selfies 

◉ Mobile manipulation: Moxi can interact with the hospital’s existing environment such as ADA doors and elevators to gain access across the entire facility without requiring a significant investment in infrastructure.

◉ Human-guided learning: The more your staff uses Moxi, the more Moxi learns and adapts to your environment and way of doing things

Nursing Staff, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill
Co-founders Dr. Andrea Thomaz and Dr. Vivian Chuh and Moxi

Shannon Medical Center currently has two Moxi’s that rotate between the units and work day and night shifts. “She is a point-to-point delivery system for our hospital so she can go between different units and go to the lab, pharmacy and central sterile to be able to pick up supplies so that nurses do not have to leave the unit to pick those things up and it’s a big-time saver and staff satisfaction,” Shannon Medical Center Director of Innovation, Steven Short, said.

As one of the first hospitals in the country to implement Moxi, staff nurses are leery of its capabilities but also are thankful for the time saving especially in the more mundane tasks. “It won't take us away from the bedside nearly as much to go downstairs and wait for somebody to be available, we can allow Moxi to do that for us,” Shannon Medical Center Nurse Manager, Michael Smith said.

Shannon Medical Center isn’t the only major healthcare company to utilize Moxi robots. Moxi has appeared at other hospital facilities, including Medical City Dallas Hospital and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

Is Moxi a Viable Answer to the Nursing Shortage?

According to a labor analysis by the Texas Workforce Commission released Thursday, December  16, 2021, there were 35,634 advertised job openings for registered nurses — the highest number of unfilled jobs across the state. Four days later that number rose to 38,489 job openings.

Healthcare companies, legislators, and honestly nurses realize there are not enough new nurses or available nurses to fill the openings. Truthfully, there aren’t enough to even make a dent in the number. “There's no pipeline of staff that we see ready to just hop in and start helping,” said Carrie Kroll, vice president of advocacy, quality and public health at the Texas Hospital Association.

The reality is, while Moxi does assist nurses in non-patient-related tasks like delivering labs or medications - the robot doesn’t ultimately help the nursing shortage. Moxi

Yes, Moxi can run labs which saves time or go to the cafeteria to pick up a tray for a post-op patient or restock personal protective equipment (PPE) for isolation patients but it doesn’t solve the need for more bodies. Moxi can’t help in a code situation. Moxi can’t administer the medication it retrieves from the pharmacy. Moxi can’t help during a code situation. 

During normal times, perhaps Moxi would be seen as more than just an expensive piece of hospital equipment - but until it can take on more responsibilities, as a nurse, it is simply that - a task runner. A volunteer. Perhaps the hospitals using Moxi or interested in the product could better spend the money on new staff or retaining the current staff?


Saturday 8 January 2022

Nursing, Nursing Career, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Professionals

As a nurse of 5 years working from coast to coast, I have witnessed this first hand and very much felt it myself. Our job is crazy at times and if we aren’t careful, it can burn us out to a crisp. Although sometimes you need to make difficult decisions and leave a facility or even a career for the sake of bringing in higher cash flow, my heart feels for the nurses who are in that place right now. I hear you, I see you. 

This piece is to share with all my fellow nurses, some good energy for the New Year. Life is crazy, our job is stressful and quite unglamorous at times, but it doesn’t always have to weigh heavy on your heart. For those of you who are feeling the burn of this job, here are a few tips to help you overcome. 

1. Take a deep breath

Start right now. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, hold it, and then let it out. Remember this point when you’re in the “thick” of it. Yes, you may not have time to eat and you may not have time to pee (all habits we really need to let go of in 2019) but one thing you do have time to do is TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Link it to a task – every time you’re at the Pyxsis or the Omnicel, put your finger down on the reader, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let this habit spread to all aspects of your day: when you’re opening that new bag of fluids, running to get the code cart, or sitting down to finally chart. And don’t do one of those sighs that lead to a defeated slouch. Sit up straight and make your Respiratory Therapist proud of that big deep breath.   

2. Get a hobby

Everyone needs something to do that they enjoy. If your next thought is, “well I don’t know what I like,” then think about something small that you’ve been curious about, even just mildly. Maybe it’s buying that one pretty ceramic pot you saw to put a plant in it  or learning how to work a camera. Perhaps it’s picking up a new recipe to try. Whatever has crossed your mental sphere and piqued your interest, do just that.   

3. Invest in yourself 

This means different things to different people. If you’re a spa and massage person, then by all means, book the appointment or if you’re a get outside and hike person, put those hiking boots on! The most important thing is to know what feeds you and what fuels you; whatever it is,  also do that. 

4. Have a saving system that works for you

Seeing that money build up in your bank account is not only empowering and exciting but smart. This is what works for my husband and me: both our paychecks go straight into a checking account with no debit card linked to it. On payday every Friday (travel nursing weekly pay) we log into our account and physically transfer our spending money for the week into the checking account with a debit card. Depending on our location and our goals, we calculate how much spending money for the week we will use that will allow us to save what we want to. Living in New York City on two incomes with a savings goal of a solid down payment for a house in the next few years, we allow ourselves $800 a week. From this $800, we will buy groceries, a subway fair, lots and lots of eating out, and whatever odds and ends happen throughout the week. Maybe it sounds like a lot, maybe it sounds like a little, but we have found for the two of us in the city, that this is the sweet spot. The rest of our pay goes into savings, minus what is needed for bills and rent, which is directly deducted from the first checking account with no card attached to it. This system makes it easy to log into our bank account and physically see exactly how much money we have left budgeted for the week. 

5. Get out of town

Getting out of the drama and the usual work-home-work routine is a very healthy thing to do. You don’t have to go across the world to do this – although that is fun too. But taking a weekend to check out a local retreat, or even a short day trip somewhere close to window shop and eat a nice dinner can help you clear your head and get some distance from work. 

6. Focus on the positive attributes that make you enjoy your job

You know they’re out there. You may really like joking with your patients, or you may enjoy the technical procedures. Whatever it is, enjoy it, dwell on that aspect of the job, and not the parts that drive you nuts. Let those parts roll off of you like butter on a hot biscuit. Remember, you are responsible for your own experience of life, and that includes work! Make it a good experience for yourself. 

7. This is not forever 

Your situation today will not be your situation forever! Back when I started my nursing career, I fell into a strange depression that came from a place of starting a career I didn’t know if I really liked, working nights, and feeling really alone and incompetent to boot. Now looking back (that was only a handful of years ago) I realize that those first few years were just a small spec on the timeline of my life. I did my due diligence of gaining my experience before I left travel nursing and although I still get quite frustrated with the nature of the job, I know better than to feel like there is no end in sight. Life is whatever you want it to be, and at the very least, you have a career that can support you steadily throughout any economic environment, is versatile, and can set you up for anything else you want to do. 

8. Don’t get yourself down – stop that negative self-talk 

I enjoy my job less when I feel that I’m not meeting my own expectations. When I miss something in the report or when another nurse gives me attitude about something I did or did not do, it tends to send me into a spiral of negative self-talk and I mentally beat myself up for it. Finally, I am learning to catch myself at the beginning of those spirals and stop myself in my tracks. I will repeat my mantra: “Good job, Mariam! You’re doing a great job.” It feels silly and even fake at first. But part of the magic of “fake it till you make it” lies in this very quality. What your mind says, you believe. So force yourself to say nice things and you’ll see it makes a difference.  

Yes, many nurses are out there working multiple jobs to make ends meet or would rather leave the profession to gain income in different ways than at the bedside. The point of this message is to really understand yourself; if you are stressed, worried, ready to crack – sit down for a minute and really ask yourself why. Why are you struggling and what would make things better? What is realistic for you and what steps could you take, right now? 

If your heart is set on leaving nursing, that’s okay. If you just need to step away for a week or month or year, that’s okay too. If you enjoy the work but know you need to up your income, speak to your boss. Negotiate a pay raise or at least a higher OT rate. Find some financial resources that can help you manage your debt and pay structure, and get you to the place where you want to be. If you’re professionally frustrated and know you need to do something else, whether it’s to go back to school or open that coffee shop you’ve always wanted, do a quick Google search. What are the requirements? What are the start-up costs? 

Remember, if you’re down about nursing, it’s very possible that this feeling won’t last forever. Take those deep breaths and do what is best for you in the New Year. 


Wednesday 5 January 2022

Nursing Schools, Nursing Degree, Nursing Degree US, Nursing Job, Nursing Career

Fainting and nursing don’t sound like an optimal combo. Vasovagal syncope, in itself, is an awful feeling. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop suddenly, reducing the flow of blood to your brain. You get extremely lightheaded, your vision narrows, and you are overwhelmed with this clammy, nauseous feeling. Then, because you're in nursing school and supposed to be caring for a patient, not being the patient, tack on embarrassment to that lovely feeling.

All that said, I fainted in clinicals. It wasn’t fully lights out, luckily, I got to a chair and held on to consciousness, but still not a great feeling. For some reason, seeing gastric acid explode out of a gastronomy tube site didn’t sit well with me. All I could think was, “that should not be happening”. Then I began thinking about how leaking gastric fluid could affect this baby's sensitive skin, and how the site, raw and bloody, could easily get an infection. I began to wonder if the child was in any pain - Was he uncomfortable? Did it feel weird having a G-tube inside him? Thinking about it too much made my own stomach hurt and I was suddenly engulfed by that awful lightheaded feeling. I tried to remind myself that this child was okay, he was still smiling and his medical team could fix his tube. However, even with this in mind, my body was shutting down. I stepped away and took a seat but the dizzy spells, tunnel vision, and clammy sweat had already begun.

While the lightheadedness ultimately passed, I was left with the feeling of embarrassment. The nurses, doctors, and instructors around me were so kind, explaining that it happens and some things are just more triggering. The funny thing - everyone that helped me told me that it happens more often than people think or talk about. It’s actually a common occurrence. I decided gastrointestinal things may not be my forte, but when working at a hospital, it is ultimately very hard to avoid.

The next week, I was given a patient with VACTERL (Vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheoesophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and limb abnormalities), a nonrandom genetic association of birth defects that affect multiple anatomical structures. She was an adorable two-month-old with a variety of concerns including tethered cord, ventricular septal defect, and imperforate anus. With these concerns in mind, her care team had placed a nasogastric tube, a suprapubic catheter, AND an ostomy bag. With the past clinical in the back of my mind, seeing that she had an ostomy made me nervous, to say the least. Part of me hoped I could get away with just pushing the stool out of the bag to measure output, but another part of me wanted to challenge and expose myself to things I feared. In doing her assessment, I found that her ostomy bag was leaking and would need to be replaced. My fate was decided for me, it was time to face some fears.

My clinical instructor apologized profusely for giving me a patient with an ostomy knowing what happened last clinical when I worked with abdominal holes. However, I was honestly happy it happened because I knew, deep down, there was no way I could avoid G-tubes or ostomies forever. After helping me gather the supplies to change the ostomy and going over the procedure, she asked me whether I wanted to do it, to which I responded that I would help but wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was scared I might pass out again or mess up and hurt her tiny abdomen, so I felt very cautious about doing this procedure.

We began by tracing the stoma pattern and cutting out the areas where the stomas would be inserted. Then we began the process of removing the patient's leaking bag. My instructor gave me the adhesive remover wipe and I carefully peeled the bag off her body to reveal two bright, beefy red stomas. My patient had a temporary sigmoid colostomy due to her imperforate anus and therefore had one stoma that was made with the lower part of the colon through which stool passed through and one mucous fistula. 

Next, we cleaned the skin around the stoma by washing it with warm, soapy water. At first, I was worried about touching the stomas, but my instructor reassured me that they could be touched so I cleaned them as well. After the area around her stoma was clean and dry, my instructor directed me to wipe Stomahesive paste around the stomas. We then placed the new bag and left her swaddled with a warm pack so the bag would better adhere.

I had finished the ostomy replacement with no fainting! My instructor then congratulated me for doing most of the replacement by myself with some verbal instruction. I’m glad I was prompted to do most of the ostomy change, even though I was hesitant to do it because I was able to prove to myself that I could perform the procedure. While I still don’t love gastrointestinal procedures, I was able to face a fear and can now remind myself that with exposure and experience I will become more confident in my nursing skills and hopefully pass out less often.

That same day, I was also able to work with an NG tube (the original reason my instructor had assigned me to my patient). Not only did I administer medication and formula through the NG tube, but I was also able to place an NG tube into my patient! While I was nervous to place an NG tube because I had never placed one on a real person, it gave me confidence knowing that earlier that day I had changed an ostomy and that I had practiced NG tube placement in Sim Lab. I reminded myself that while I was nervous about making a mistake or potentially passing out, I would be depriving myself of a great experience if I yielded to my fears.

With this said, I gathered my supplies - an NG tube, a syringe, sterile water, tegaderm, duoderm, lubricant, pH strips, a pen, scissors, and her pacifier. After washing my hands, I decided which nostril to place the tube and then measured the distance to insert the tube by starting with the hole at the end of the tube at the tip of the nose, to the bottom of the ear lobe to the halfway mark between the breast bone and the naval. Once the tube was marked I measured and cut the duoderm and tegaderm. I cleaned and dried her face and then applied the duoderm onto her cheek next to the chosen nostril. Next, I lubricated the tube and positioned my patient so that her head was elevated 30-45 degrees with her pacifier.

Then came the part I was most nervous about - the insertion of the tube. While I was nervous, I reminded myself that with practice and clinical experiences these procedures would get more and more comfortable. I took a breath and inserted the lubricated tube into the chosen nostril. Using two hands I pushed the tube back and down the throat. Hitting the back of the throat and meeting some resistance scared me at first, but I mentally and physically pushed through and was able to insert the tube down until the marked point was at the entrance of the nostril. I then secured the tube across the duoderm by applying tegaderm on top and confirmed the proper tube placement by pulling up the fluid with the syringe and testing that the pH was between 1 and 5 which indicated the tube was in the stomach. 

Another nerve-racking procedure was done and I had been able to prove to myself that I could do it!

In both of these procedures, I was able to gain hands-on experiences and exposure to methods, as well as learn and grow as a future nurse. With this said, to get those experiences I had to let go of the fear of making a mistake or passing out. Entering clinicals with those fears would ultimately deprive me of the experiences I so fiercely want as a student nurse. Learning involves making mistakes or, in this case, having your body react in ways you're not expecting. While it may feel or seem embarrassing, it is through these experiences that one can identify their response, and then adjust and better prepare for future practice. 

Being a nursing student practicing skills on a real patient, especially a baby, can be scary and overwhelming. However, it’s crucial that I continue to be an active participant in my patients care and place myself in as many learning experiences as possible, even if they scare me, for these are the experiences that will ultimately help me grow into the confident and skilled nurse I hope to be.


Monday 3 January 2022

Nursing Job, Nursing Skill, Nursing Career, Nursing News, Nursing Responsibilities

Each year, an estimated 6.8 million people in the U.S. donate blood according to the American Red Cross. At least that was the number of donors prior to the pandemic. Now, the number is barely half that - and most of the donors are healthcare workers. Currently, America is in one of the worst blood shortages in over a decade. 

The pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our everyday lives, especially for healthcare providers. There is a nursing shortage, ICU beds are limited, medical care is being rationed - to name a few - but, a blood shortage? While this may not seem like the most pressing of matters, in fact, it might just be one of the most underreported and most severe consequences of the pandemic. 

For months, the American Red Cross has urged Americans to donate blood if eligible because this isn’t just something that has occurred over the last month or two. No, it has been an ongoing cumulative effect that has only become increasingly more urgent and more severe. 

In a recent press release, the American Red Cross said, “Donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, decreasing by about 10% since August.” Without an influx in donations, blood will continue to be rationed throughout the country. As a result, cancer patients may not get the blood transfusions needed during chemotherapy, sickle cell patients won’t get transfusions to alleviate ongoing pain and a potential crisis, and most importantly trauma patients may result in massive hemorrhages because of the limitation of available blood products. 

Importance of Blood Donation

Most individuals will never need a blood transfusion during their lifetime; however, blood availability can be key to the survival of trauma patients, cancer patients, those needing surgery, and more commonly those with sickle-cell disease. 

The American Red Cross reports that every 2 seconds someone in the country needs blood. Unfortunately, as the number of donors continues to dwindle - the blood that is available is being rationed so that all patients requiring a transfusion have blood available. Despite this, there is still a desperate cry for donations. 

◉ About 45% of people in the U.S. have Group O (positive or negative) blood; the proportion is higher among Hispanics (57%) and African Americans (51%).

◉ A single-car accident victim may require as many as 100 pints of blood.

◉ Blood can’t be manufactured synthetically.

◉ Less than 38% of Americans are eligible to give blood at any given time.

◉ More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. 

◉ Sickle cell disease affects over 80,000 people in the U.S. 98% of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives. 

◉ The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.

◉ There are more than 1 million new cancer diagnoses each year and many require blood, sometimes daily, during chemotherapy treatment.

◉ Type AB plasma can be transfused to patients of all blood types. Since only 4% of people in the U.S. have type AB blood, this plasma is usually in short supply.

◉ Type O negative red cells can be given to patients of all blood types. Because only 7% of people in the U.S. are type O negative, it’s always in great demand and often in short supply.


In September, the Red Cross had less than a day’s supply of certain blood types over the course of several weeks. The supply of types O positive and O negative blood, the most needed blood types by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the last month. This has not changed. In the past month, the supply continues to be the lowest it possibly can be. 

The Monday prior to Thanksgiving, Tower Health reported blood supplies are at a critical low. Rami Nemeh, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Miller-Keystone Blood Center said, “ Our blood inventory is only at 35% of the ideal level; 450 donors are needed every day to support the needs of our hospitals, please make your appointment today and become a hero.” An emergency blood drive was held but that barely yielded enough blood to climb out of the critical inventory levels. 

Overall, new blood donors are down 34% due to the decrease in local blood drives, especially at universities and churches. The Eastern New York Red Cross Region experienced a 25% decrease in new blood donors while Kansas & Oklahoma Red Cross Region has experienced a 23.5% decrease in new blood donors this year.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have experienced challenges collecting blood for patients from blood drive cancellations to surging hospital demand. Now with decreased blood donor turnout, our Red Cross blood supply has dropped to the lowest it has been at this time of year since 2015,” said Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services. 

“We recognize that this is a trying time for our country as we balance the new demands of returning to former routines with the ongoing pandemic, but lifesaving blood donations remains essential for hospital’s patients in need of emergency and medical care that can’t wait. The Red Cross is working around the clock to meet the blood needs of hospitals and patients – but we can’t do it alone.”

The Red Cross needs to collect an additional 10,000 units of blood each week for the remainder of the year to begin to put a dent in the ongoing blood shortage. And local chapters are pulling out all the stops to get their local communities to donate. Some are offering Amazon gift cards, free lunches, gas cards, and other incentives. 

Other chapters are reminding donors exactly where their donation is going, whether to a specific hospital or “types” of patients. “We want to make sure that people have a concrete idea of where their blood is going and what it’s doing. Not just that they’re spending an hour on a cot having their blood taken and then forget about it. We want people to know how it’s benefiting other people,” says Jim McIntyre, the Red Cross’ Northern Ohio Red Cross communications director. 


There are several different types of blood products that you are able to donate. The requirements for each vary based on the type of donation. These are the specific requirements according to the American Red Cross. 

Whole Blood Donation Requirements: 

◉ Donation frequency: Every 56 days 

◉ You must be in good health and feeling well

◉ You must be at least 16 years old in most states

◉ You must weigh at least 110 lbs

Power Red Donation Requirements: 

◉ Donation frequency: Every 112 days, up to 3 times/year

◉ You must be in good health and feeling well

◉ Male donors must be at least 17 years old in most states, at least 5'1" tall and weigh at least 130 lbs

◉ Female donors must be at least 19 years old, at least 5'5" tall and weigh at least 150 lbs

Platelet Donation Requirements: 

◉ Donation frequency: Every 7 days, up to 24 times/year

◉ You must be in good health and feeling well

◉ You must be at least 17 years old in most states 

◉ You must weigh at least 110 lbs

AB Elite Plasma Donation Requirements: 

◉ Donation frequency: Every 28 days, up to 13 times/year

◉ You must have type AB blood

◉ You must be in good health and feeling well

◉ You must be at least 17 years old

◉ You must weigh at least 110 lbs

While the above requirements may seem fairly simple, there are many factors that preclude from any blood product donation. These may include, but are not limited to: 

◉ Illness

◉ Infection

◉ IV drug use

◉ Low iron

◉ Male/Male Intercourse (First-time male donors may be eligible to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man in more than 3 months.)

◉ Medications

◉ Pregnancy and nursing

◉ Recently tattooed 

◉ Travel outside the U.S. 




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