Haiti Earthquake Relief Update
Randolph World Ministries, Inc. (RWM) is a small, non-profit Christian organization that has provided medical laboratory and other faith-based services to the country of Haiti since 2001. Tim Randolph, Ph.D., founder and president of RWM Randolph, has helped build and run 23 medical clinics throughout the Caribbean nation, including seven in Port-au-Prince. Teaching phlebotomy to Haitians and providing a steady stream of supplies is one of his biggest challenges.
The Center for Phlebotomy Education, publisher of the Phlebotomy Today family of e-newsletters, has been a long-time supporter of RWM. After the earthquake, we partnered with Greiner Bio-One to deliver blood collection supplies and equipment for distribution to Tim's Haitian labs—including 108,000 red top tubes. We thought our readers would appreciate knowing how the recent earthquake has affected this important ministry. Below is the latest update from Tim Randolph regarding Haiti and the earthquake relief efforts that are currently underway.
I received a phone call last night (01-18-10) from Pastor Michel, president of Eben-Ezer Mission in Gonaives. He has been asked by the Haitian government to house 10,000 refugees from Port-au-Prince who have been rendered homeless. Many of them are orphans displaced from their orphanage that collapsed. Even though the earthquake has decimated the Port-au-Prince area and Gonaives is 3.5 hours north, the mass exodus of people leaving Port; the inability to get funds into Haiti due to bank closures; the inability to get food, water, fuel, and supplies into Haiti due to seaport and airport closures; food, water, and fuel are nearly out country-wide. Pastor Michel took his last tank of gas and drove to the Dominican Republic (DR) in hopes of getting one of his ministry partners to wire money to him so he can buy food, water, and fuel to take back to those he is serving in Gonaives. This morning Randolph World Ministries, Inc. wired Pastor Michel $2,500.00 for the purchase of these materials. This will purchase sufficient materials for a week unless the 10,000 arrive early. Until the Haitian government opens the sea ports and airports, we will not be able to get our collected materials to those who need them most. We will share this plan with several of our other Haitian ministry partners as a way to support them during the acute phase of this crisis. Until then Randolph World Ministries, Inc. has the following plan for the next 6 months:
As of Friday, January 21, 2010, Tim has been able to secure two missionary airlines and one overseas shipper to deliver the supplies to various locations in Haiti. Tim will mail several shipments on Saturday, January 22 with expected delivery in Haiti the following Saturday. The plan is to ship medical supplies to six clinics that are still tending to the medical needs of the injured, three in the Port area and three in the north. Tim will also supply food, water, and toiletries to Pastor Michel in Gonaives who has agreed to house 10,000 evacuees from the Port area.
For those who may also wish to contribute, please send all donations to:
Geisinger Medical Center—Phlebotomy Supervisor Position
The 404-bed Geisinger Medical Center is a tertiary and quaternary medical center recently named one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the country. The medical center has also been designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Founded in 1915, Geisinger is a physician-led organization that is dedicated to serving 2.6 million people.
Minimum requirements / qualifications for the position include:
Qualified applicants can contact David Wranovics, Operations Director - Clinical Pathology, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 570-214-6128.
This Month in Phlebotomy Today
Here’s what subscribers to Phlebotomy Today, the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s paid-subscription newsletter currently in its 11th year of publication, are reading about this month:
For subscription rates and to subscribe to Phlebotomy Today, click here. The current month’s issue will be emailed to you immediately upon subscribing.
Q: Do you know of any source of information that defines the levels of hemolysis? We are searching for information that would help us standardize what "trace, 1+, 2+, 3+, 4+" actually means relative to hemolysis. We would like to develop or purchase some visual standards so that our techs can compare serum or plasma to these standards when evaluating serum for testing. Thank you.
A: There are two places in the literature where the hemolysis chart you’re looking can be found: the March, 2003 issue of Transfusion (Volume 43, page 297) and the November, 2006 issue of MLO (Medical Laboratory Observer) (Volume 38, No. 11, page 26).
The Transfusion chart shows eight levels of hemolysis and indicates the quantity of red cells ruptured in mLs corresponding to each level. The MLO chart also shows eight levels of hemolysis, but gives the amount of hemoglobin in each in mg/dL instead. Some manufacturers of chemistry analyzers also provide similar charts.
Each month, PT-STAT! will publish one of the hundreds of phlebotomy FAQs in the growing database of questions and answers available in Phlebotomy Central, the members-only section of the Center for Phlebotomy Education's web site. For information on joining Phlebotomy Central, click here.
Our latest survey polled visitors to our website regarding if and how their facilities evaluate the competence of personnel who perform blood specimen collection. The results are below:
Direct observation: 84.8%
The good news is that over three-fourths (79.4%) of those polled indicated that their facility has a mechanism in place to formally evaluate the competence of all employees who draw blood as part of their assigned duties. Kudos to those organizations that have implemented and standardized phlebotomy competence assessment processes across the board and across department lines!
The survey results also reflect that every facility hasn’t reached this goal (20.6%). Some employers are headed in the right direction though, with blood collection competencies on the horizon for nursing personnel who perform phlebotomy procedures. More concerning were the comments expressing a lack of organizational understanding or emphasis on performing staff assessments outside the realm of the laboratory, or in some instances, at all.
In terms of frequency, the vast majority of those with a comprehensive phlebotomy competency assessment program in place reported that evaluations are conducted at least annually (87.9%). Direct observation was by far the most common assessment method used (84.8%). In some facilities, it is the only evaluation tool employed (19%). But most often, direct observation is used in combination with one or more assessment methods (71%). Of those, 58% reported using two methods, while 13% indicated three or more methods in use.
Patients may not be aware of the job title or educational background of the person collecting their blood sample. But they do expect the procedure to be performed correctly. Regularly and thoroughly evaluating every collector who wields a needle is the best way for facilities to meet that expectation and minimize the risk of phlebotomy-related injuries and litigation.
[Editor's note: a competency assessment tool for blood collection personnel is available in the Center for Phlebotomy Education's Manager's Toolbox. It includes a checklist for observational assessments and questions that can be administered as a written or oral quiz.]
This month’s survey question: Does your facility limit the number of winged collection (butterfly) sets specimen collection personnel can use per month? If so, what is the limit (per individual or per department)?
What Would You Do?
Each month, What Would You Do? presents a different case study, then asks readers to contribute their ideas as to how each situation would best be handled. The following month, selected responses will be chosen by the editor and published (sender will be identified by first name and state only). The most accurate, well written response will receive a free download from the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s To the Point® library of articles. The exercise will conclude with a review of the selected submissions and a discussion of the standards pertinent to the case study.
The vast majority of PT-STAT! readers (83%) who responded to last month’s case study agreed that the first step in addressing this issue would be to commend the student on her friendliness and excellent people skills. Several respondents stated they would then explain that in addition to making the patient feel at ease, how not being kept waiting also contributes to a patient’s favorable experience with the laboratory. Barbara in Florida put it this way: “I would suggest that they limit their conversation to the time it takes to complete the phlebotomy. When the labeling process is completed, so is the conversation.”
Providing a patient’s perspective, one reader made the point that patients are often tired and may not welcome a great deal of chatter while having their blood drawn. Respondents also shared other negative outcomes associated with too much talking, including:
Margo from Tennessee approached the situation this way: “We have had situations very similar to this with students and new employees. I would explain clearly to the student that the patients deserve and expect friendly and courteous service, but they also deserve and expect prompt service. Delays in collection lead to delays in results which lead to delays in treatment. A good phlebotomist must be able to perform efficiently and safely, while maintaining a courteous and friendly demeanor“.
For her articulate response and seizing the moment as a teaching opportunity, Margo will receive a free download from the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s To the Point® library of articless.
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