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Specialist in Blood Bank Technology/ Transfusion Medicine

Occupational Description

Specialists in blood bank (SBB) technology are knowledgeable about all aspects of blood banking and transfusion medicine. SBBs perform and/or oversee both routine and specialized tests in blood centers, transfusion services, reference laboratories, and research facilities. They are subject matter experts on quality systems, regulatory affairs, and transfusion safety. 

Job Description

Specialists in blood bank technology demonstrate a superior level of technical proficiency and problem-solving ability in such areas as (1) testing for blood group antigens, compatibility, and antibody identification; (2) investigating abnormalities such as hemolytic diseases of the newborn, hemolytic anemias, and adverse reactions to transfusion; (3) supporting physicians in transfusion therapy for patients with coagulopathies (diseases affecting blood clotting), for example, or candidates for organ and cellular transplantation/therapy; and (4) performing blood collection and processing, including selecting donors,collecting blood, typing blood, molecular testing and performing viral marker testing to ensure the safety of the patient. Accordingly, supervision, management, and/or teaching make up a considerable part of the responsibilities of the specialist in blood bank technology educational program.

Employment Characteristics

Specialists in blood bank technology work in many types of facilities, including community blood centers, private hospital blood banks, university-affiliated blood banks, transfusion services, regulatory agencies, and independent laboratories; they also may be part of a university faculty. Qualified specialists may advance to supervisory, administrative, or transfusion safety officer positions or move into teaching or research activities. The criteria for advancement in this field are experience, technical expertise, and completion of advanced education courses.

Educational Programs

Length. Most of the educational programs are approximately 12 months. Some programs offer a master’s degree and are approximately 24 months.

Prerequisites. Applicants must be certified as a medical technologist or medical laboratory scientist by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC).  If applicants do not have the required certification by ASCP, they must possess both a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university including biological science and chemistry courses, and have work experience in a blood bank.

Curriculum. Each specific educational program defines its own criteria for measurement of student achievement, and the sequence of instruction is at the discretion of the program officials. The clinical material available in the educational program provides the student with a full range of experiences. The educational design and environment are conducive to the development of competence in all technical areas of the modern blood bank and transfusion services. The didactic experience covers all theoretical concepts of blood bank immunohematology and transfusion medicine.


American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification 
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603-5617
Phone:  (312) 541-4999 or (800) 267-2727
Fax:  (312) 541-4845
Website: www.ascp.org/certification


4550 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 700, North Tower
Bethesda, MD 20814-3304