Specialist in Blood Bank Technology Program

Specialist in Blood Bank (SBB) Technology Program 


The University Medical Center New Orleans (UMCNO) Specialist in Blood Bank (SBB) Technology Program is a 12-month online distance learning program which provides in-depth training in all aspects of blood banking including: donor recruitment, donor collection and processing, component preparation, transfusion services, reference lab services, education, management, coagulation and hematology, adverse effects of transfusions, blood group serology and biochemistry, immunology, genetics, HLA, molecular testing, transplantation, red cell physiology, transfusion practices, regulatory and quality programs. All information is provided via the Internet and students can complete clinical rotations at facilities of their choice.

Our program prepares students for the SBB examination offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification.

Program graduates will be able to function as entry level supervisors, managers, reference laboratory technologists and educators in all areas of Transfusion Medicine and research.

The UMCNO SBB program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon recommendation of the AABB’s Committee on Accreditation of Specialist in Blood Bank Technology Schools.

                        Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs                        
                        25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
                        Clearwater, FL 33763

Our program was established in 1974 as an on-site program. As of 2016, we have continued our program of excellence using the online distance learning format.

Click here for frequently asked questions.

The UMCNO Facility

UMCNO is a 446-bed hospital located in the heart of the city. It is part of the LCMC Health network of hospitals which include Touro Infirmary, Children’s Hospital, West Jefferson Medical Center and New Orleans East Hospital. UMCNO was built after Hurricane Katrina devastated the former Medical Center of Louisiana (Charity Hospital) and is the oldest hospital in continuous operation in the United States. UMCNO is designated as a Level 1 trauma center, one of only two in the state. UMCNO is a teaching institution with many specialty care areas and outpatient clinics which service a metropolitan area of approximately one million people.

The Louisiana State University School of Medicine and the Tulane University School of Medicine are affiliated with UMCNO and share joint educational responsibility for residents, interns, medical and allied health students.  Many educational programs are offered through the hospital facilities.

The Department of Pathology consists of numerous sections representing all laboratory disciplines and performs over 1.2 million tests annually.


The Blood Bank

The Blood Bank, a section in the Department of Pathology, not only consists of a Transfusion Service but also incorporates an Immunohematology Reference Lab (IRL) and maintains a Rare Donor depot of frozen red cells.  Many unusual serological cases are encountered in this patient population.  The UMCNO Blood Bank and IRL are accredited by the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) and College of American Pathologists (CAP), are licensed by the FDA, and is part of the American Rare Donor Program.

The supervisors/lead technologists of all technical areas in the Blood Bank are Specialists in Blood Banking.  The Blood Bank Medical Director is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology with a subspecialty board certification in Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking. 


Program Goal and Outcomes

The goal of the UMCNO SBB program is “To prepare competent entry-level Specialists in Blood Bank Technology/Transfusion Medicine in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains.” Program graduates will be able to function as entry level supervisors, managers, reference laboratory technologists and educators in all areas of Transfusion Medicine and research.

Since 2003, our program has accepted 9 students of which 6 successfully completed the program and passed the ASCP registry on the 1st attempt.  Our graduates have had 100% positive placement.  Our on-site, part-time program was inactive from 2005 – 2007 due to Hurricane Katrina and from 2013 – 2015 due to a change in hospital management.  Our distance program began in 2016. We had three students in our 2016-17 class. All three of them passed the registry on their first attempt, yielding a 100% pass rate. Our 2017-18 class was comprised of two students, one of whom took and passed the registry on the first attempt. The second student has not yet taken the exam.


Student Eligibility Requirements

Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university in medical technology/clinical laboratory science or a related science

  • MT/MLS(ASCP)/BB(ASCP) certification or equivalent
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0 for Math and Sciences
  • A minimum of 2 years full time equivalence experience in a hospital transfusion service or donor center
  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States
  • Have identified a qualified mentor who has agreed to provide assistance and guidance


Student Selection Process

The UMCNO SBB Training Program admits students and employs faculty members of any race, color, creed, sex, age, disabling conditions (handicaps) and national origin.

Prospective SBB students are interviewed by the Admission Committee and are scored according to pre-established criteria. The score is based on information derived from the application form, applicant’s essay, personal interview, work performance ascertained through references, and academic transcript review.  Students must have a pre-set minimum score to be considered for the SBB Program with priority given to individuals who are presently employed in the LCMC network. The Admission Committee consists of the SBB Program Medical Director, the SBB Program Director, the SBB Program Education Coordinator, and the Vice-President of Technical Services/or designee from our associate, The Blood Center.  If more students than we can accommodate apply for admittance to the SBB Program, the actual scores will be used to determine student selection.


Mentor Responsibilities and Qualification

The student must have an individual who is willing and able to serve as a mentor.  The mentor plays a critical role in the success of the student.  The mentor’s role is to provide counseling and guidance to the student that include but is not limited to finding rotation facilities, making antibody samples, monitoring student rotation, assisting student with research projects, and evaluating student presentations.  The mentor must meet one of the following requirements:

  • MT/MLS(ASCP)SBB or SBB(ASCP) or equivalent with a minimum of 2 years experience in a donor/testing center, transfusion service or reference laboratory
  • MT/MLS(ASCP), CLS(NCA), BB(ASCP) or equivalent with a minimum of three years of experience in a donor/testing center, transfusion service or reference laboratory
  • If a Pathologist (board certified in Transfusion Medicine or a Director of a Blood Bank) signs as a mentor, the students must identify another SBB/MLS who is willing to assist the student during the SBB program year
  • Other qualifications must be approved by SBB Program Director


Criteria for Successful Completion of the UMCNO SBB Program

The UMCNO SBB Program lasts for 12 months and consists of three distinct aspects: an on-line component, a clinical rotation and a professional development component.  Clinical rotations include but are not limited to all aspects of blood donor centers and hospital transfusion services, reference laboratories, coagulation, HLA, and stem cells.  Clinical rotations may be completed at the student’s facility or a suitable clinical affiliate.  Successful program completion includes:

  • Exams and quizzes
    • Pass all written exams and quizzes with a minimum composite score of 80% per module
    • Pass all practical exams 
    • Remediation will be at the discretion of the Program Director on a case by case basis
  • Clinical Experience
    • Completion of rotation check lists
  • Professional Development
    • Presentation at three journal clubs
    • Completed research project with accompanying paper suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal

When all aspects are successfully completed, you will receive a certificate of completion and are eligible to take the SBB examination given by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).  No academic credit is granted for the program, nor is a degree awarded.


Student Attributes

Students enrolled in the UMCNO Program must be self-motivated, self-disciplined and be committed to keep up with the SBB curriculum workload.  The student must be willing and able to commit to 8 – 15 hours per week (or longer, if required) to keep up with the SBB program.  Additional requirements to be successful in an on-line program include good skills in independent learning, organization, time management and written communication. 

Click here to learn more about distance education and to determine if online courses are right for you.


Computer Requirements

The student must have access to a computer with high-speed internet as well as word processing and presentation software such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.  The student should be proficient in the use of the internet.



The cost for this program will be $5,000.00 with a deposit of $2,500.00 payable upon acceptance to the program with the balance due at the midpoint of the program year.

Students who are accepted into the program are required to come to UMCNO for a two day orientation.  The orientation is generally scheduled for the 1st or 2nd week of March. Students are responsible for covering the cost of orientation (housing, travel, meals).  This is the only travel required for the program.

Students are also responsible for their own medical insurance as well as housing, transportation, books, reagents and supplies, as needed to obtain clinical experience.  It is up to the discretion of the clinical site to charge fees for reagent/equipment usage.


Application Process

The completed application packet and Recommendation of Applicant forms must be received by November 15 of the training year.

I.  Application Packet

  • Completed Application Form (click here to download)
  • Official college transcripts, copies are acceptable
    • Applicant essay (approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for applying to the SBB program and your career goals)
    • Completed Summary of Practical Experience form (click here to download)
    • Completed Mentor Agreement (click here to downloadand mentor CV/resume of experience
    • Facility Information form (click here to download)
    • Copy of ASCP certification (or equivalent)/state license/diploma as applicable

The completed application packet of the above required documents must
be mailed to the UMCNO SBB Education Coordinator: Leslie Granier, MT(ASCP)SBB

        University Medical Center New Orleans
Blood Bank                                              
2000 Canal Street  
New Orleans, LA 70112

II.  Recommendation of Applicant

  • Select three professional associates that will be able to provide a recommendation.  Complete all requested information on the application form.
  • The SBB coordinator will contact the recommenders via e-mail provided to obtain the recommendations

III.  Prospective students who fulfill all of our criteria will be notified by December 1 to schedule an interview with the Admission Committee. 

IV.  Acceptance of up to eight students will be determined by numerical score based on the applicant’s education, work experience, references, essay and interview. 


Our Partners


The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans has teaching, research, and health care functions state-wide, through its six professional schools and twelve Centers of Excellence, as well as the more than one hundred hospitals and other health science related institutions with which they maintain affiliations.


The second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States, Tulane School of Medicine is equipping the next generation of medical professionals with the tools to succeed in a rapidly changing world and shape the future of health care.