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Advanced Topics in Quality Phlebotomy (CE)

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Overview / Abstract:

The quality of clinical laboratory results depends directly on the blood specimen collected and received for analysis. This self-study course is designed for all professionals responsible for the preanalytical phase of a blood specimen. This professional may have a variety of titles (e.g., patient care technician, medical assistant, nurse, laboratory assistant, laboratory tech or medical technologist) depending on the place of employment. For the purposes of this self-study course, this individual will be referred to as the phlebotomist. This self study course is equally suited for the phlebotomy student, the individual wanting a general update and review of phlebotomy, and the phlebotomy educator responsible for maintaining training, competency, and documentation of collected blood specimens. The content examines the advanced topics beyond basic that a phlebotomist needs to be aware of to obtain a quality specimen. Topics discussed are: the role of effective communication with a diverse patient population, special procedure considerations, preanalytical variables, and the phlebotomist’s role in quality assurance and continuous quality improvement.The phlebotomy procedures, quality management systems, the impact of preanalytical considerations, and patient interaction skills described are from generally accepted guidelines (CLSI - Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute formerly NCCLS - National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards). The reader may note some policies and procedures may vary from the institutional guidelines under which he/she is working or training. This document is not meant to replace any institution-specific policies.
Course Text

This course is divided into the following four sections:
Communication with diverse patient populations.
Special Collection Procedures
Preanalytical variables from the phlebotomist’s perspective
Quality Assurance and Quality Indicators
Tables and images are included throughout the course to illustrate key points.
2. Self-Assesment Exercises

The self-assessment exercises included following each section of the course will enable the participant to assess his/her progress through the course. These exercises consist of question and answer items (e.g., multiple choice and matching). An answer key for the self-assessment exercises is found following each exercise. These exercises are for self-assessment only and will not be reviewed by CACMLE staff.
3. Post-Course Examination

Participants wishing to receive continuing education (CE) credit for this course must complete the post-course exam no later than 3 months from the date it was purchased. The results of this exam will be made known only to the participant who took the examination. A total of 6 contact hours of continuing education credit will be awarded for successful completion of the self-study as demonstrated by achievement of a score of 80% or higher on the post-course exam.
Course Goal and Objectives


This course is designed to promote an understanding of the importance of the phlebotomist’s use of effective communication skills, the impact of preanalytical considerations, and the role of quality assurance for a diverse patient population role in collecting a quality specimen and providing quality health care services. The participant will gain a better understanding of how to effective communicate with a diverse patient population, and their role in providing quality service in compliance with existing regulatory and accrediting guidelines.

Upon completion of this self-study course, participants will be able to:
Recognize and appreciate the importance of professional communication for the phlebotomist
Identify the age-specific and cultural considerations needed to work with a diverse patient population.
Describe the purpose and techniques of special phlebotomy procedures (e.g., blood cultures, bleeding time test, arterial punctures, and point-of- care testing).
Describe complications, restrictions, and limitations associated with the special phlebotomy procedures.
Recognize the impact of biological and non-biological factors influencing the collected specimen.
Explain principles of Quality Assurance as it relates to phlebotomy


Dec 31, 2017


Clinical Laboratory CE, Nursing CNE, Phlebotomy , Physician CME





Credits / Hours


Presenters / Authors / Faculty

4. Course Author

Ruth M. Jacobsen, MA, MLSCM & PBTCM (ASCP)
Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine – Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Quality Management Coordinator - Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, Adjunct Faculty - CLS Program - Mayo School of Health Sciences - Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Ruth worked in all phases of the clinical laboratory as a medical technologist in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, and California. These positions were in a wide variety of clinical settings including metropolitan and rural hospitals, independent laboratories, and clinic settings. Her positions included chemistry specialist, microbiologist specialist, QA/QC, generalist, management of an independent laboratory, management experience, phlebotomy educator and program coordinator, and most recent as a quality management coordinator. Her position as phlebotomy educator and program coordinator included teaching phlebotomy techniques to a wide range of student disciplines which includes an in-house phlebotomy training program, as well as five programs from Mayo School of Health Sciences and the Mayo Medical School. Ruth presented educational lectures in phlebotomy and quality management as a guest faculty member for Mayo Medical Laboratories. Ruth designed, wrote, and taught a phlebotomy technician program for Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN with the first class of students graduating May, 2000. Ruth was a member of the Phlebotomy exam committee for the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA) from 1997 as writer and reviewer of exam questions, a past national Phlebotomy Exam Chair (2000-2003), a chair of the NCA Phlebotomy Job Analysis committee (2004-2005), and served as a second level cognitive reviewer of exam questions for the Phlebotomy NCA exam. With the merger of the NCA and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) under one organization (ASCP), Ruth served as a member of the certification exam committee for Phlebotomy and Donor Phlebotomy. Ruth retired from clinical practice in 2014.

Activity Specialities / Related Topics

Hematology, Internal Medicine, Regulatory / Compliance / Risk Mgt

Keywords / Search Terms

AltusCampus , altus, campus, argus, QA, Communication, Pre-analytical

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