Students inspired by opportunities at New Zealand Blood Service

Auckland Girls Grammar School (AGGS) students were recently given a ‘backstage pass’ tour of New Zealand Blood Service’s Epsom Donor Centre, to witness firsthand the journey that donated blood goes on, after learning about blood testing in the classroom.

The year 12 Applied Health Science classes were given the opportunity to donate blood if they met the eligibility criteria. The students were then shown how donated blood is tested and separated into different products such as plasma and platelets, and how the blood was stored and transported. They also got a sneak peak of some of the other services offered by New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) such as bone marrow donation, tissue typing and bone banking.

Sherryn Dammers, Head of Biology at AGGS, says the field trip was a fantastic opportunity for all the girls, but particularly for those interested in a career in the healthcare sector to see all of the different types of jobs available at NZBS. They were also given the chance to ask staff questions about what their roles entail.

“It encouraged the girls to explore what career paths are out there in the science, health and technology fields that they might not know exist, or perhaps think are only for males. It was wonderful to see their eyes opened to the wide range of opportunities that are out there for them, and have a lot of fun at the same time.”

AGGS student Polyana Rodrigues Silva says, “I found the tour of the Blood Donor Centre really interesting and inspiring. I think New Zealanders take donated blood for granted that it will always be there when they need it, but now I understand how important it is to donate. While I’m not eligible to donate blood yet, I hope I can next year!

“I have no idea what I want to do when I leave school, but I’m certainly very interested in working in the healthcare sector. It was really cool to see what people actually do in their jobs at NZBS, and that the staff are really passionate about what they do.”

Sherryn Dammers says she is a keen user of NZBS’s educational resources in the classroom, as they’re full of hands-on experiments such as blood testing, that the students really enjoy.

“The resources are brilliantly written, and as a teacher I find they deliver the whole package, which makes my job a lot easier. The students thoroughly enjoy them – my classes particularly loved making fake blood and learning about blood testing.”

For more information about NZBS’s educational resources, click here

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