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The Specialist in Transfusion Science Program - en anglais

Dr. Gwen Clarke
Specialist in Transfusion Science Lead & Clinical Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology University of Alberta Hematopathologist, Island Health Victoria BC


Dr. Jelena Holovati 
Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Studies
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology                   
Laboratory Director, Stem Cell Manufacturing
Canadian Blood Services

This post first appeared in the May 2023 issue of OrbCon's newsletter 

The Specialist in Transfusion Science (STS) program is a new training program, currently in development, which will offer advanced training for medical technologists. Intended for those with work experience in transfusion medicine, this program will allow individuals to develop and demonstrate an area of advanced competency in transfusion.

The idea for this program was born at the 2015 CSTM annual meeting in Winnipeg. At that national venue during the lecture delivered by Bob Fallis upon his acceptance of the Buchanan Award, Bob spoke of the need for an opportunity for technologists working in transfusion medicine to develop advanced knowledge and skills in transfusion science and leadership, and to be afforded a means of demonstrating those advanced competencies through a certification process.

This idea was subsequently championed by the board of directors of the CSTM, and in 2020 an education subcommittee was tasked with the initial planning for such a program.The group included Technologists, Scientists, Educators and Physicians from locations across Canada and with work experience in large and small transfusion services, blood suppliers, industry, and quality systems. *

The group began by developing a needs assessment survey that was distributed across Canada. Ninety-two surveys were sent to transfusion medicine leaders at hospital transfusion services and blood suppliers. Surveys were completed by 60% of recipients (53/92) and confirmed there was a need for training and recognition of specialists in transfusion science to fill leadership positions in transfusion laboratories across the country. Further, the survey indicated that many sites would be willing to serve as training venues for experiential learning associated with such a program. Survey respondents indicated that advanced competencies in technical, managerial and clinical skills were important.


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