Becoming a Blood Bank Specialist

A Blood Bank Specialist is responsible for blood collection and processing. He also conducts testing on blood products and assists the physicians in transplantation or transfusion. This profession helps save millions of lives every year, as Blood Bank Specialists play a key role in infusing a new life into the patients through their experience and expertise. It’s not an easy job. You need to bring specific characteristics and effectiveness to your job in order to become a successful Blood Bank Specialist.

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: A Bachelor’s Degree is must for aspiring Blood Bank Specialists. A degree in biology, a certification and work experience in any blood bank are the key requirements to become a Blood Bank Specialist. During the degree program, the students generally take courses in blood collection and storage, genetics, immunology, blood bank administration and transfusion therapy.
  2. Certification: After completing the bachelor’s degree program and any other trainings related to this field, the aspiring Blood Bank Specialists should earn certification in the field by appearing in the examination conducted by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
  3. Master’s Degree: Those who want to boost their profile and career, may go for advanced studies such as a Master’s Degree in blood bank technology, also known as immunohematology. The course duration is 24 months.

Key Challenges:

  • Testing for blood group antigens and compatibility
  • Antibody identification
  • Investigating abnormalities of the newborn
  • Finding out adverse reactions to transfusion
  • Assisting physicians in transfusion therapy
  • Performing blood collection and processing
  • Selecting donors, collecting samples and conducting molecular testing
  • Performing viral marker testing
  • Managing patient blood

Salary & Job Outlook:

While the Blood Bank Specialists generally earn $31,410 per year on an average, as per the data published on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some experienced professionals with high qualification, are found to earn in the range of $60,000 and $70,000. The job outlook for this profession remains bright, as the BLS has projected it to grow at 27% during the period of 2012-2022.