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Odd question...  does anybody know if there are any published papers or references on how much time it takes to keep a blood banker proficient and competent when they are required to be competent in different laboratory departments?

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I've never heard of any. However, I'll be watching this to see if anybody has. We have the same situation at my hospital. Most after-hour phone calls I get and problems I have to deal with are because of this. (Even though they could look in the procedure manual, it's quicker to get an answer from me than looking it up in the manual.) I would love to have at least one other designated blood banker at least on days and one on evenings. This is hard to do right now with them cutting staff and expecting twice the work out of the rest of us.

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My experience is that it takes 3-4 months for a newbie generalist, esp an MLT, to be 'competent'. This does not include special procedures such as elution, adsorption, etc.,, though it does include antibody ID (1-2 antibodies). They are not going to be comfortable until they've been working about a year. Unfortunately, I can't give you a reference to show to management to support that. Interesting project for an SBB candidate?

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We are a 220 bed trauma 2 hospital.  We do  not have the luxury of having a large number of specialists for each area.  We have many generalists here, especially on evenings and nights.  In general, we do a 4-5 week training period for the BB area, and try to make sure they are rotated through BB on a regular basis.  First shift BBers are available at all times by phone.  We ahve few problems.

Scott

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1 hour ago, ANORRIS said:

Has anyone heard of the Blood Bank supervisor being required to be proficient in another department?

The smaller the facility the more likely this is.  Even in the very small facilities some one is responsible (read supervisor) for each department and it not unusual for some one to be responsible for more than one such as blood bank and hematology which would require them to be proficient in both and possibly more.  Personally, I always preferred being very good in one department instead of competent in many but that's just me.

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On 1/25/2019 at 10:26 AM, John C. Staley said:

The smaller the facility the more likely this is.  Even in the very small facilities some one is responsible (read supervisor) for each department and it not unusual for some one to be responsible for more than one such as blood bank and hematology which would require them to be proficient in both and possibly more.  Personally, I always preferred being very good in one department instead of competent in many but that's just me.

:Raises hand:

Yep, I'm the Blood Bank and Coag supervisor at my facility, assist with POC and charge entry, plus spend ~50% of my time in Chemistry. The reality is I'm less knowledgeable than a Blood Bank bench tech at a medium sized facility just due to the lack of volumes we see. The majority of my 'supervisor' time is spent making sure we're CAP compliant and trying to put out the small fires that arise from having a staff that just doesn't do blood banking very often. At a small facility you end up with your hand in as many pies as you want, but there's just no way to be as proficient at each as you could if you were able to devote 40 hours per week to one thing.

 

For reference we transfuse about 300 units yearly, don't do any antibody ID's, and a simple cold agglutinin was enough to upend one of our Tech's whole routine for a day. It's just the reality when your entire staff is 7 or 8 people, half of whom are MLT's that graduated in the last few years.

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