By Mr. Perry Jefferies (Army Medicine)May 22, 2009
Fort Hood, TX - Military officers from several services, including a lieutenant colonel from the Netherlands, visited Fort Hood this week as part of the Tri-Services Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) Fellowship program. They were at the Robertson Blood Center for two days of orientation and study at what is currently the military's largest blood testing facility.
According to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) Web site, the SBB program "...trains medical technologists from all three branches of the Armed Services ...to become specialists in blood banking. This challenging program prepares officers to effectively apply universal blood banking skills in a variety of settings, enabling graduates to perform all blood bank operations."
Lt. Col. Badloe, of the Dutch Army, described the one-year program as "a very intensive course. We don't do our own collections in the Dutch Army." The armed services in the Netherlands obtain their blood and blood products from a national blood service. "I have a lot of respect for this military service. I am really impressed by the motivation and skill of the service people."
While at the Robertson Blood Center, the fellows learned about quality assurance and quality control procedures, discussed audits and other regulatory procedures, learned about accreditation, record keeping, and the operation of blood drives. Once they return to their home-base at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., they will also continue their studies with the George Washington University, which awards a masters degree for the successful completion of training. By then, Lt. Col. Badloe will already be back in his home in the Netherlands. He may miss Texas though, "This is a beautiful center. The location is perfect for donors that come here and the atmosphere is amazing."
To find out more about the military's blood program and the Tri-Services Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship program, visit the official ASBP website at www.militaryblood.dod.mil.