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Lily623

Can't apply for BB test because employer won't train me on required ABO, crossmatching, etc processes

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I have been working in a blood bank for a few years and just found out about the BB test by ASCP. I have a 4 year biology degree and was going to apply to take the test.

Problem is, I've never worked in one of the labs that does ABO confirmation or crossmatching. I brought the form to different managers and they all told me I'm not allowed to be trained in the processes because they're not allowed to train non-MLT/MTs in these processes. I was even told by one manager that we don't do some of the stuff on the list, so they couldn't show me that anyway. 

 

How are people working in blood banks getting managers to train them and sign off on these processes so that they can qualify to test for BB if no non-MLT/MTs can't be trained on them? 92 people tested for BB in 2018, I doubt the rules were magically changed for 2019.

 

Any advice?

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One possibility is state regulations on who can do what testing and the decision to train someone has been taken out of their hands.  Now I'm going to get on my soap box and please don't take this too personally.  There is a very big difference between training and teaching.  Over the many years I have trained more people in blood bank than I care to remember.  Every one of them had the basic knowledge and understanding of what was going on in the testing and knew at least one way of doing the testing.  I was training them to do it our way, not teaching them the principles and background of the testing.  It is simple enough to train some one to add A and B to tube C, spin for 15 seconds, shake the tube and see if it clumps but that is not teaching them anything about the testing or what to do if it doesn't work as expected.  With out the basic knowledge behind the testing and processes you would find it nearly impossible to pass the BB test.  

I am curious, just exactly what have you been doing in the Blood Bank for the past few years?  I know organizations that will allow only MT/CLS registered staff work in the Blood Bank and exclude even MLTs.  My suggestion to you would be to find a program that fits your needs and complete at least the MLT level education.  Another option would be to find a facility that still offers internships if there are any.  They are set up to provide the training and education you are requesting from your current employer.  I'm afraid this is probably not the response you were hoping for.  :coffeecup:

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Agree with John's points, above.

I am not sure I have ever heard of a person doing ANY non-waived Lab testing without having earned a degree specifically in medical lab science.  Even with that, you would  have to have passed a national board exam in the US. Possibly there have been people grandfathered under certain circumstances? 

Regardless, the thing about training is, I can train a high school student to perform the steps to start a test or do routine maintenance in a Lab.  But they would not have the education required to understand what "it all means", which is essential in pretty much any healthcare profession--especially one so technical as Lab Science.

You may, indeed, have earned credits in inorganic and organic chem, microbiology, etc, but if you look at a certified program for a MLS (or MLT for that matter) you will see that beyond basic biology and chemistry, there are a load of specific courses that must be completed as the professional part of such a degree.  A general biology degree  (or any other type of  degree for that matter), whether AAS, BS, MS or PhD, does NOT qualify a person to perform most of the functions done by a Lab Tech.

Scott

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Thank you for answering in such an explanatory way, John and Scott. Nothing more needs to be added, in my opinion.  Many folks just don't have an understanding of the education level required for our jobs as Medical Laboratory Scientists.

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