Donor carer

Members of the public volunteer to give blood, so it can be used when people need transfusions. Donor carers set up a donor centre and welcome donors, making sure they are healthy and that their blood is suitable.

This page has information on the role of donor carers, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

The NHS relies on members of the public (donors) giving voluntary donations of blood and blood products. These are stored and used when needed, for example, during surgery or after an accident.

As a donor carer, you'll take blood by inserting a needle into a vein, usually in the donor’s arm. You'll then monitor the blood and pack it safely into cool bags for transporting or sending.

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Working in a donor centre, you'll:

Although donors are volunteers, some may be nervous about the procedure especially if they have not given blood before. They may be upset if they find they cannot give blood for any reason. Customer care is an important part of the job.

Some donor carers are based in clinics. Most, however, work in mobile units going out into the community to a different location each day. Some donor carers may drive the team vehicle.

As well as and doctors and nurses, donor carers work with healthcare and healthcare science professionals and other members of the wider healthcare team. They have a lot of contact with the public.

Entry requirements 

There are no set entry requirements to become a donor carer. Employers expect good literacy and numeracy and may ask for GCSEs or equivalent.

Customer care skills are as important as qualifications. Employers may ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have customer service or healthcare experience - either paid or voluntary. You may need a driving licence.

Find out more about gaining experience

Skills and personal characteristics needed

As a donor carer, you'll need to be: 

You'll also need

Training and development

You will be given the training you need to do the job, including how to set up and use the equipment and how to take samples and donations of blood. Donor carers may enter through a health and social care (care pathway) apprenticeship at level 2 or 3.

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