Specialist in Blood Bank (SBB) Technology Program
New opportunities to learn more about an exciting field
The University Medical Center New Orleans Specialist in Blood Bank (SBB) Technology Program is a 12-month online distance learning program providing in-depth training in all aspects of blood banking.
- Donor recruitment
- Donor collection and processing
- Component preparation
- Transfusion services
- Reference lab services
- Coagulation and hematology
- Adverse effects of transfusions
- Blood group serology and biochemistry
- Molecular testing
- 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. Graduates can then work as entry level supervisors, managers, reference laboratory technologists and educators in all areas of Transfusion Medicine and research.
The UMC 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. Our program was established in 1974 as an on-site program. As of 2016, we are continuing our program of excellence using the online distance learning format.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
The UMC facility
UMC is a 446-bed hospital located in the heart of New Orleans. It is part of the LCMC Health network of hospitals which includes Touro Infirmary, Children’s Hospital, West Jefferson Medical Center, and New Orleans East Hospital. UMC 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.
UMC is designated as a Level 1 trauma center—one of only two in the state—and functions as a teaching institution with many specialty care areas and outpatient clinics serving a metropolitan area of approximately one million people. UMC affiliates LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine share joint educational responsibility for residents, interns, medical and allied health students. Many educational programs are offered through the hospital facilities.
The Blood Bank
The UMC 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 Blood Bank, a section in the Department of Pathology, contains
- Transfusion Service
- Immunohematology Reference Lab (IRL)
- Rare Donor depot of frozen red cells where many unusual serological cases are encountered
- Sections representing all laboratory disciplines and performing over 1.2 million tests annually
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. Supervisors and lead technologists here are specialists in blood banking.
Program goal and outcomes
The goal of the UMC SBB program is, “to prepare competent entry-level specialists in blood bank technology/transfusion medicine in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.” 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.
Student eligibility requirements
All applicants to the Specialist in Blood Banking Technology program must have a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university in medical technology/clinical laboratory science or a related science.
Students must also have:
- 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
- Citizenship or legal residency in the United States
- Identified a qualified mentor who has agreed to provide assistance and guidance
Student selection process
The UMC 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 scored according to pre-established criteria.
The score is based on information derived from their:
- Application form
- Personal interview
- Work performance ascertained through references
- Academic transcript review
Students must have a pre-set minimum score to be considered for the SBB Program. Priority will be given to individuals presently employed in the LCMC network.
The Admission Committee consists of the:
- SBB Program Medical Director
- SBB Program Director
- SBB Program Education Coordinator
- 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
Each 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 by providing counseling and guidance to the student.
Mentor responsibilities can include:
- Finding rotation facilities
- Making antibody samples
- Monitoring student rotation
- Assisting student with research projects
- Evaluating student presentations
Each 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 UMC SBB program
The UMC 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 – Passing all written exams and quizzes with a minimum composite score of 80% per course as well as passing 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 journal clubs and completion of research project with accompanying paper suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal
When all aspects are successfully completed, the student 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.
Students enrolled in the UMC 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 online program include good skills in independent learning, organization, time management, and written communication.
Click on the following link to learn more about distance education and
to determine if online courses are right for you.
Students must have access to a computer with high-speed internet as well as word processing and presentation software such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. They should be proficient in the use of the internet.
Tuition will be $5,000.00 due at the midpoint of the program year with a deposit of $2,500.00 payable upon acceptance. Students who are accepted into the program are required to come to UMC for a two-day orientation, generally scheduled for the 1st or 2nd week of March. Students are responsible for 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
- Necessary supplies to obtain clinical experience
It is up to the discretion of the clinical site to charge fees for reagent/equipment usage.
The completed application packet and Recommendation of Applicant forms must be received by October 15 to be considered for the class beginning the following year. Students must submit a student application packet and three professional references.
The application packet must include:
- Completed Application Form (click here to download) complete with three professional references who will be contacted afterward via e-mail
- Official college transcripts or copies of transcripts
- Applicant essay consisting of approximately 500 words explaining why you are applying to the SBB program and your career goals
- Completed Summary of Practical Experience form (click here to download)
- Mentor CV/resume
- Completed Mentor Agreement (click here to download)
- Facility Information form (click here to download)
- Copy of ASCP certification (or equivalent)/state license/diploma as applicable
Completed application packets must be mailed to:
UMC SBB Education Coordinator: Leslie Granier, MT (ASCP) SBB
University Medical Center New Orleans
2000 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Prospective students who fulfill all of our criteria will be notified by December 1 to schedule an interview (if necessary) with the Admission Committee. Acceptance of students will be determined by numerical score based on the applicant’s education, work experience, references, essay, and interview.