Online Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Blood Banking for Medical Lab Science

Blood banks provide an extra lifeline to patients. However, before blood can be donated to an individual, it needs to be tested by a blood bank specialist. These professionals ensure that the blood is free of disease, and they also label its type.

Individuals who wish to pursue a career as a blood bank specialist can opt for an online certificate in blood banking. As part of this program, they learn how to test blood for diseases and antigens, as well as about blood transfusions and the storage of blood. They can become experts in areas such as immunology, genetics, blood groups, transfusions, donor processing, and administration.

Upon completion of the course, students can work as laboratory administrators, quality managers, technical advisors, and also teachers in the field of blood banking.

The following article covers six online certificate programs in blood banking, and three exceptional faculty members teaching them.

Featured Online Certificates in Blood Banking

The George Washington University (Health Sciences)
Chemistry (Post-Baccalaureate Cert)
Medical Lab Sciences (Post-Bacc Cert)
Microbiology (Post-Baccalaureate Cert)
Blood Banking (Post-Baccalaureate Cert)
Hematology (Post-Baccalaureate Cert)
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George Washington University

George Washington (GW) University offers an online post-baccalaureate certificate in blood banking for medical laboratory science. The program provides students with in-depth knowledge of blood transfusions.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a grade point average of 2.5 or more, one letter of recommendation, and TOEFL, or PTE, or IELTS scores for international students.

The program comprises 16 credit-hours. Some of the courses included in the curriculum are immunohematology, molecular diagnostics, laboratory management and operations, and a blood bank practicum. Students learn a number of blood banking essentials such as blood testing for viruses, the identification of blood type, and separation of blood components. They also learn how to perform diagnostic analyses and comply with lab safety regulations.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the Technologist in Blood Banking exam offered by national certifying agencies. They can work in a number of settings including hospital blood banks, independent laboratories, community blood centers, and university-affiliated blood banks.

  • Location: Northwest, Washington, DC
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $615 per credit-hour

Rush University

Rush University offers a fully online blood bank technology certificate. Through the program, students get an opportunity to perform and supervise specialized tests in blood centers and transfusion services. ​The program is ideal for experienced medical laboratory scientists who wish to further their knowledge of immunohematology.

In order to apply for the program, students must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university in medical laboratory science, biology, or a related field; a minimum grade point average of 3.0; ASCP or NCA certification as an MT or MLS; and full-time immunohematology experience, among other requirements.

Made up of 17​ credit-hours, the program prepares students for the specialist in blood bank (SBB) technology certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The coursework includes human blood groups & antibody identification, clinical immunohematology & transfusion, blood procurement and blood product manufacturing, blood bank and transfusion service operations, an SBB comprehensive review, and an SBB project and clinical practicum.

Students learn how to apply theoretical principles to the practice of blood bank and transfusion services, develop and evaluate blood banking protocols and procedures, and apply basic finance and accounting principles.

At the end of the program, graduates are well-equipped to perform processes such as blood collection and processing, supporting physicians in transfusion therapy, investigating abnormalities, testing for blood group antigens, supervising, and teaching.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Accreditation: Chicago, IllinoisCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $897 per credit-hour

University Medical Center

The University Medical Center in New Orleans offers an online specialist in blood bank (SBB) technology program. While the coursework is offered online, the clinical rotations can be completed at facilities of students’ choice.

Admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a science-related field, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, MLS(ASCP)/BB(ASCP) certification or equivalent, a minimum of two years full-time experience, citizenship or legal residency in the United States, and a qualified mentor providing guidance and assistance.

​This 12-month online program explores topics such as red cell physiology, immunology, transplantation, transfusion practices, molecular testing, transfusion services, and coagulation and hematology. Students are prepared for the SBB examination offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification.

At the end of the program, graduates can take up roles such as entry-level supervisors, reference laboratory technologists, managers, and educators in all areas of transfusion medicine and research.

  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $5,000

The University of Texas Medical Branch

The University of Texas Medical Branch offers an online post-graduate certificate program for specialists in blood banking. All instruction in this program is provided online and students can complete clinical rotations at a facility of their choosing. While this is an online program, students have the opportunity to interact with program directors via email, phone, and discussion boards.

Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in medical laboratory science, biology, or a related science, a minimum of two full years post-baccalaureate work experience, and be currently employed in some aspect of blood banking. They must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended, have a minimum grade point average of 2.75, and a mentor who is willing to assist monitor student progress through the SBB training.

The program consists of 19 credit-hours. The courses include an introduction to research in transfusion medicine, blood bank laboratory operations, human blood group systems, advanced immunohematology, advanced transfusion medicine principles, and an applied immunohematology practicum. Successful completion of the program qualifies students to sit for the certifying examination for specialists in blood bank technology (SBB) given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Graduates of the program can look forward to employment in hospitals and private clinical laboratories, blood centers, research laboratories, state, and public health laboratories or crime labs.

  • Location: Galveston, Texas
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,380.78 per credit-hour

Carolinas College of Health Sciences

Carolinas College of Health Sciences offers an online specialist in blood bank technology program. All courses and examinations in this program can be completed online, while clinical rotations must be completed at approved locations of students’ choice.

Admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree from a US institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.5; current ASCP certification; current employment in a blood center, transfusion service, or blood bank related field; a minimum of two years full-time blood bank-related experience; and a qualified mentor to provide assistance and guidance.

This is a non-credit program including two courses: specialist in blood bank technology/transfusion medicine I and specialist in blood bank technology/transfusion medicine II. The first course explores blood products, laboratory mathematics, immunology, physiology, pathophysiology, and laboratory operations. The second course delves into blood group systems, transfusion practice, transplantation, and adverse effects of transfusion.

The program prepares students to take up advanced roles as technical specialists in blood banking, and also to take the SBB national exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Graduates of the program can take up roles as technical supervisors, laboratory administrators, quality regulatory assessors, educators, or researchers.

  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,800 for the program

BioBridge Global

BioBridge Global offers an online specialist in blood bank technology (SBB) program. While the coursework can be completed online, students must complete the clinical work at program-approved locations. The program provides students with a complete overview of immunology, transfusion medicine, histocompatibility, molecular biology, and hematology.

Application requirements include a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry or a related field; two years of full-time work experience in clinical blood banking or transfusion; and a current ASCP certification.

This is a non-credit program. It includes topics such as blood group systems, immunology, laboratory operations, serology, transfusion practice, blood product, and physiology and pathophysiology. Graduates are awarded a certificate of completion at the end of the program.

Students will have the option to pursue the specialists in blood banking (SBB) national exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

  • Location: San Antonio, Texas
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $5,000 for the program

Professors to Know in Online Certificate in Blood Banking

Clifford Cymrot is the current medical laboratory sciences program director at the George Washington University. He teaches a range of courses within the MLS program such as clinical microbiology, hematology, an immunohematology lab, a molecular diagnostics lab, and a clinical biochemistry lab. He is a member of professional organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB).

Additionally, he has been a contributor for several chapters in the Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology by Mahon, Lehman, and Manuselis. He also has received the Academic Achievement Award for Excellence in Scholarship with High Honors. He completed his AAS from Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) and his BS and MHA from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds certifications from ASCP, AMT, and AAB in medical laboratory science.

Laurie Gillard is the director of the specialist in blood bank technology certificate program and an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science at Rush University. She teaches both face-to-face and online through a web-based SBB program. Prior to Rush University, she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

One of her major interests lies in teaching and mentoring students pursuing a career in the clinical laboratory field, especially in transfusion medicine. She completed her MS and SBB from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA from Humboldt State University.