Analyze donated blood for labs and surgical rooms.
What does an Immunohematologist do?
Some people may get queasy with even a glimpse of blood, but as an Immunohematologist, you spend your entire day working with it. Instead of fainting, you’re fascinated by the red cells and can’t help but analyze every drop that comes your way.
While blood samples may all look the same, two separate bags are hardly identical. There are different types of blood and different bacteria found in each sample. Because blood is so varied, you can’t give a person a blood transfusion with the wrong type of blood-the body will reject it, which can cause serious medical complications.
That means one of your biggest responsibilities as an Immunohematologist is typing blood, whether it’s A, B, AB, or O. You mix a sample of blood with four different antibodies, each corresponding to a blood type, and the one that reacts (the blood becomes a little clumpy) is the winner.
Transfusions keep people alive by giving them fresh blood when they’re losing it. You’re needed throughout the entire process of identifying blood, labeling and placing it in sterile bags, and packing it in proper shipping equipment to be sent to operating rooms and medical clinics. Your keen eye for detail keeps you from making even small mistakes. Although you can work in a blood bank if you prefer, you’re not limited to being a Blood Bank Technician.
As an Immunohematologist, you can work in a hospital preparing blood, or even at an organ bank approving and prepping donations for transfusion. What you do is essential to the lifesaving operations that Surgeons and Doctors perform.
You generally won’t be meeting a lot of the patients you help, but you know that every bag of blood you type means a life saved. Sitting with an eye up to a microscope or running a centrifuge might not be as exciting as working in the ER, but it’s just as rewarding, if a little bloodier.