Donating Plasma: Does it Help or does it Hurt?

The Phlebotomy Technician program only takes 3 months to complete, as well as an accelerated 1 month course option. 


hether you are looking to help save lives, or just trying to earn some spending money, you’ve probably heard about donating plasma. With the opportunity to earn up to $850 dollars in the first month of donations, it has become a popular way to earn a little extra cash.

Plasma is the clear yellowish liquid part of blood that carries nutrients, hormones and proteins throughout the body. It can be used to create medicines and therapies for people with immunodeficiencies, neurological disorders, shock, burns, and more. Plasma is a crucial part of treatment for a wide variety of health problems. 

The process takes about an hour and consists of checking in, going through a health screening, and then donating. The employee will find your vein, typically with a 16 gauge needle, and then hook you up to a plasmapheresis machine. The machine draws out blood, separates the plasma components, and then returns the blood to your body with saline to replace the fluidity. After they’ve gathered enough plasma, they will unhook you from the machine and have you wait about 15 minutes before you leave to ensure that you’ve fully recovered from the process. 

With all of the benefits that come from donating plasma it can seem like a no brainer, however it is crucial to consider both the advantages and potential disadvantages associated with donating plasma. While the procedure is safe, it may cause side effects. For some, donating plasma can cause fatigue, bleeding, dehydration, dizziness, or decreased protein levels in your blood. Some people may develop a hematoma, bruising and pooling of the blood underneath the skin.

Photo of a Phlebotomy Student learning hands-on in a real world setting.

Here are a couple ways that you can make certain you will have a good experience if you choose to donate plasma. 

Tips from our Phlebotomy Instructors: 

  • Make sure to drink plenty of water the day before
  • Eat plenty of protein in the days leading up to your donation
  • Get a good nights sleep before you go in to donate
  • Wear something comfortable, the process usually takes about an hour

Phlebotomy Careers

If you find the plasma donation process interesting, then Phlebotomy might be a great career choice for you! Dixie Technical College has Phlebotomy Technician programs that only take 3 months to complete, as well as an accelerated 1 month course. Students learn both clinical skills and soft skills that will prepare them for working with patients. They are able to land jobs in a variety of environments including doctor’s offices, insurance companies, and blood donation centers. To learn more about the Phlebotomy Technician program at Dixie Tech, visit or sign up for a tour!

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