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Transfusion. 2020 Mar 20. doi: 10.1111/trf.15755. [Epub ahead of print]

Educating the next frontier of transfusionists: a transfusion camp pilot program for nurse practitioners.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Centre for Blood Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
British Columbia Children's and Women's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
British Columbia Provincial Blood Coordinating Office, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Education and Safety in Transfusion (QUEST) Research Program, University of Toronto Quality in Utilization, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Blood transfusion is common and potentially lifesaving but is associated with risk and overuse. Nurse practitioners (NPs) in multidisciplinary care teams are increasingly expanding their scope of practice to transfusion medicine (TM). Resources aimed at NPs are lacking, and little is known about NP TM knowledge. Thus, we developed a pilot TM curriculum for NP credentialing and assessed its impact.


NP leads and TM directors adapted the successful Canadian Transfusion Camp for medical postgraduate trainees into a 3-day curriculum for NPs. Two modalities were used to assess the pilot: 1) a participant demographics survey and needs assessment; and 2) the validated BEST-TEST knowledge assessment exam administered before and after the course.


Of the 23 volunteer participants, the majority reported prescribing blood products within the last year, primarily red blood cells. Minimal opportunities to undertake continuing medical education in TM were identified. NPs often used preprinted order forms, consultation with physicians sharing care, or local fact sheets to guide transfusion; rather than TM physician consultation or guidelines. Exam scores significantly improved after the course (before, 35.2% vs. after, 50.3%; p = 0.005), suggesting average initial knowledge being below medical postgraduate trainee-level improving to postgraduate trainee level. Questions on appropriate transfusion triggers and correct recipient identification were most correctly answered; and responses to transfusion reaction questions required improvement.


Our needs assessment suggests that TM resources for NPs are relevant but lacking. Our initiative supports the generalizability, scalability, and effectiveness of the Transfusion Camp program. Further implementation, refinement, and future impact assessments are required.


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