ASBP: All About the Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship
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Lab Technician studying a vial of blood
Lab Technician


Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship

Across the nation and around the globe, the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) supplies blood and blood products to military personnel and their families. In order to meet military hospital and combat needs, the military requires qualified personnel to preserve a safe and secure blood supply for our military community.

The Blood Bank Fellowship is an 18 month program which trains Clinical Laboratory Officers from all three branches of the Armed Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) in the advanced, specialized blood bank topics required in today's healthcare industry. Topics include: immunology; cellular and molecular biology; Transfusion Transmitted Diseases (TTD); transfusion services and donor center operations/management; and accreditation/federal regulatory requirements, such as Quality Systems and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) as established by the Food and Drug Administration and the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks). Upon completion of a 12-month technical and didactic phase, officers are eligible to sit for the Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) exam through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). At the completion of the 18 month program, officers graduate with a Master's degree from George Washington University.

The BBF is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The AABB sponsors the committee that conducts the program accreditation process. The program consistently ranks in the top five of the 17 SBB programs in the United States. Currently, the BBF has a graduation rate around 98 percent (the national average is 90 percent) and the SBB exam pass rate is around 90 percent (the national average is 55 percent).

The directors of the Army, Navy and Air Force Service Blood Programs, along with the director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office (ASBPO), provide the program officials with the guidance needed to prepare the BBF graduates for their roles as blood program officers.

The Advisory Committee of the BBF addresses the program as the producer of quality blood bank managers/SBB military officers. The membership of the committee adjusts the curriculum to meet the laboratory officer needs of the three services. The standard curriculum required for the completion of an SBB program and Master's degree is also factored into the needs of the services.

The Faculty Committee of the BBF addresses the day-to-day clinical and didactic operations of the program. The lecturers, clinical site instructors and administrators directly provide the curriculum for the BBF students.

The current academic calendar begins each year in July. The SBB portion of the BBF is completed the following June. The fellows may then sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry SBB exam in July. The degree requirements for GWU are completed by December, for a total program length of 18 months.

Blood Bank Fellowship Logo Many SBB Fellowship graduates have gone on to win the ASBP Lifetime Achievement Award.
Click here find out more about these outstanding SBB alumni.