The Evergreen College field trip to Canadian Blood Services (College Street) brings learning outside of the classroom and gives students a taste of what working in medical offices and facilities will be like once they graduate and enter the workforce. A visit to Canadian Blood Services not only teaches students more about some of the ins-and-outs of medical administration, it also gives them the opportunity to donate blood, learn about the history of the organization, and take a look the facilities, and current campaign posters. The field trip, arranged by Evergreen College professor, Linda Cook, helps students to connect the theory and more practical knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom to real world situations. Evergreen College Student, Tenzin Dachen is a part of the Medical Office Administrator program and sings the praises of this particular part of the program. First, you’ll sign up as a donor and be directed to a designated area where a member of the staff will provide a questionnaire on medical history and current medications. If you are unable to donate blood or pass the screening process for any reason, there’s no need to worry. You will still reap the benefits of this field trip. During your time at Canadian Blood Services you’ll learn about the history of the organization and the building it calls home. You’ll also learn about current campaigns, the blood donation process (from the perspectives of both the donor and the people taking the blood) and be able to interact with the friendly and knowledgeable staff who work in the medical administration field on a daily basis. The work is a combination of interpersonal skills, good communication, and efficient technical skills (especially involving any medical equipment) in order to keep patients comfortable and happy. The Medical Office Administrator program is eight months in total. During that time you’ll learn a variety of relevant soft skills and technical skills. You’ll learn how to take blood and vital signs, use an electrocardiogram machine, and how to handle, create, and maintain sensitive documents like patient files and medical histories. Computer skills, keyboarding, and Microsoft Office are also essential parts of the program. To get a closer look at the program, field trip, and how they help to prepare students to start out in the industry, we asked current MOA student, Tenzin Dachen, for some of her thoughts on the whole experience. “I realised how important it is to donate blood…I learned that a car crash victim will need up to 50 donors and a patient diagnosed with leukemia will need up to 8 donors per week. Facts like these just remind you of how desperate and urgent these kinds of situations can be,” she said. The field trip really teaches students how meaningful it is to be a part of the blood donation process in any capacity. Tenzin adds that Linda Cook (MOA professor) “brings out the best in every student, she always makes sure to highlight the strengths, soft skills and the potential the student possesses.” This instills confidence in each student and motivates them further. The work she’s done to organize this field trip helps to take the program’s practical training one step further. As a future medical office administrator, the field trip provides you with the opportunity to see people working in your field first hand.