plasma center nursing?

Nurses General Nursing


I was wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge of working in a plasma center as an RN...I'm currently interviewing for a position at a plasma center near me, so I'm curious about the good/bad aspects of this type of work...I've never donated plasma myself so I'm not very familiar with it all. I've been doing med/surg for 4 years now and am getting very burnt out, so I'm looking for a change of scenery. Thanks!

Specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

I have never worked a plasma center, but on a CNA salary, I have had to sell plasma before and managed to talk with the staff quite a bit.

Usually, they only keep one or two nurses in the whole place. The RNs do only exams on folks that are coming in as new donors and inspect if an IV goes bad. Pace can be fast as you may have 10 to 20 impatient new donors at a high volume place.

Most of the actual work is done by med techs and phlebotomists. (which by the way - most med techs that have issues finding jobs never think about plasma centers. In this economy, at least the centers in my area are always hiring) Nurses do assessments.

Bad thing is you will be dealing with a lot of folks coming down off of drugs/ addicts/ homeless/ and the lower working class. Some of these centers even have to keep the doors locked at all times for fear of violence or being robbed.

Specializes in Oncology.

I worked as a screener at a plasma center for almost a year.

The RN didn't do much, skills wise. The assessments for new donors were mostly focused on looking for tattoos/piercings, especially in comparing them to what the donor had written down and verifying dates. They would also take manual blood pressures if the client felt like the machine was off or had been deferred for hypertension a couple of times in a row. Lots of teaching opportunities when it came to diet/smoking because they would have to talk to any patient that was deferred for failing the screening in some medical way (high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, etc). For our facility, even the new donor assessment was done by the doctor most of the time, and the RN seemed to do even less than normal if he was around. They had a total of 1 doctor and 2 RNs - usually the doctor had weekends off and the RNs would alternate 10 or 12 hour shifts.

To be honest with you, the only consistent thing I ever saw our RNs do was the donor education with all the paperwork they had to sign after being screened. The donors would go in, like 12 max at a time, and watch a video about the donation process, sign some forms, etc.

If you are looking for a position where you will not do many nursing skills, I would take it. After working med-surg though, I worry that you will be bored. There can be an extremely high volume of donors, but for the most part the skills needed to be successful there can't even compare to the least acute unit in a hospital.

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