Guest Blog Post by Steven Pogge
Thanks to Steven Pogge for chronicling his mission to donate at all 11 donor centers in Western Washington, and for acknowledging staff and volunteers at each center. In this post, he honors Debra Monroe, a phlebotomist of the Federal Way Donor Center.
I have always marveled at the job the techs do at Puget Sound Blood Center. Over the years I have come to realize how many different aspects of the job there actually are.
Of all the people that are involved in collecting blood and blood products, it is the Phlebotomists that are on the front lines. They are the foot soldiers of the Blood Center. They interact daily with the volunteers, management, transport, tech support and of course the donors. They are required to be constantly cheerful even on days they are not feeling particular happy. They are sometimes swamped with donors and other times it can be painfully slow. Keeping things meticulously clean and germ free is one of their top duties. When dealing with blood everything has to be check, doubled checked and checked again. The rules and regulations are constantly changing and must be followed to a T. They are required to find out very personal facts from donors such as sexual history, medications and lifestyle. They deal with enough paperwork to make a bureaucrat cringe and sometimes are called upon to be techno wizards when the computer or printer breaks down. In addition to all this, they sometimes need to deal with reactions to donations. They also must remain polite to some quirky donors. Granted, most donors are the nicest, most normal people you ever want to meet, but you do find once in awhile a rather odd personality will grace the doors.
In my recent quest to donate at all the centers, all phlebotomists have done these duties with grace, cheerfulness and proficiency. One phlebotomist especially stands out in my mind. She works at the Federal Way Donor center and her name is Debra Monroe. Deb has done this work for quite a few years and has a lot of experience but she still hasn’t lost that freshness and energy. One of the things I find most appealing is that she is always happy and has a kind word to say to everyone. She has excellent blood drawing skills and handles each aspect of the job with confidence and professionalism. She is genuine and open and willing to share parts of her life that she loves and enjoys. Having grown up on an Iowa farm, I love to hear about Piggy, her pot belly pig, in addition to the other animals on her small farm. Along with sharing, she is also a great listener even when I ramble on. Deb treats everyone as an individual person and not just another pint of blood. She is this way not only with the donors but also the volunteers. I noticed she tends to always thanks us when our volunteer shift is done. It is always nice to be appreciated.
Thank you, Debra. It is the people like you that keep me coming back year after year.
Thank you, Steven! Eagerly we await the next installment in your quest across Western Washington.
Sean DeButts, Social Media Coordinator
Puget Sound Blood Center