Nurses & use of haemonetics equipment..

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    Hi. I am a nurse from the Philippines and would like to know if any of the oncology nurses in the US use or have opted to train on using the "Haemonetics MCS+ Apheresis System" or any other (pls. indicate) automated blood processing equipment. Would it be an advantage to know how to use this machine on patients? And would you consider this another work option or extra skill?

    The reason I ask this is because i realize how important this machine is not only for onco. patients (such as those with blood cancers) but patients with blood disorders, in need of blood transfusions, etc.
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  4. 4 Comments so far...

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    purplecotton:

    Apheresis and the use of Haemonetics MCS System doesn't commonly fall under the function of an oncology nurse. Apheresis nurses fall under another specialty which is more in the blood banking area. There are jobs for nurses who have experience in apheresis but not that many.
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    While you will likely find nursing jobs in donor and therapeutic apheresis at the largest cancer centers, I don't think that the MCS+ is currently FDA-approved for therapeutic collections.
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    Thank you. I only know med techs who use this machine but i was told by a few of them that nurses could train on them too. So, from an oncology nurses' perspective, would it be wise to consider this a "sideline"-type thing to do since it is not related (while working as an onco nurse)? I am not familiar with the type of work schedule an apheresis nurse has though. Any further insight on this "apheresis nursing" would be nice. But given a definite choice, I would rather be an oncology nurse than an apheresis nurse. I don't know any nurses here interested in this machine. Our hospital uses this machine a lot and it was used on my mom a few times when she was alive and diagnosed with AML. Thanks again..
    Last edit by purplecotton on Feb 5, '07
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    purplecotton,

    For more details on Apheresis Nursing Specialty, please visit ASFA website American Society for Apheresis — Home, and Terumo-BCT website Terumo BCT - Unlocking the Potential of Blood.

    Apheresis nursing has evolved as a new nursing specialty. There are two areas of practice here, although it generally falls under one specialty. 1st: Blood Donor Apheresis Nurse - responsible for blood component collection, e.g., plasma & platelet collection. 2nd: Therapeutic Apheresis Nurse - responsible for all therapeutic usage, e.g. plasma exchange (indication examples - Guillain Barre Syndrome; TTP-Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura); Leukapheresis such as leukodepletion or stem cell collection/retransfusion. As therapeutic apheresis nurse you will be dealing with mostly Neurologic/autoimmune, and hematological disorders. And, some Hemato-Oncological conditions.

    Currently, the gold standard machine in use globally is the Cobe Spectra, and/or the Trima Accel and Optia Spectra (a newer versions and state-of-the-art apheresis system). Mostly, other nursing specialty who ventured on apheresis are the hemodialysis nurses, but of course any nurses, especially those with excellent dexterity on computerized machine, and good vascular access skills are also suitable.


    I am a nurse practitioner on Therapeutic and Donor Apheresis Nursing. I hope I am able to give you more insight about apheresis nursing specialty. Regards. Romir


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