The Center for Phlebotomy Education is recruiting a full-time coordinator for its newly opened School of Phlebotomy in Corydon, Indiana. The successful applicant will possess a comprehensive understanding of phlebotomy procedures according to the CLSI specimen collection and processing standards, as well as classroom teaching experience, computer and communication skills, and polished professionalism. Responsibilities include classroom teaching, development of material, maintaining relationships with clinical sites, administering and grading exams, counseling students, new student recruitment, marketing, and other duties to assist the program administrator.
The position requires relocation to Corydon, Indiana, a charming rural community in southern Indiana 2 hours south of Indianapolis and 30 minutes west of Louisville, Kentucky. Corydon is a vintage mid-American farming community with historical significance as Indiana’s first state capital and the site of the only Civil War battle besides Gettysburg to occur on northern soil. Nestled in gently rolling countryside in a county that has the Ohio River as its southern border, Corydon is home to Cousin Willie’s Popcorn, Butt Drug Store, the Corydon Jamboree, and, of course, the Center for Phlebotomy Education.
The School of Phlebotomy serves the southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area, and is currently moving its second and third sets of students through the 96-hour curriculum. Interested educators should contact the Center for Phlebotomy Education at 812-738-5700.
On February 5, 2003, Sharon Jenkins went to the hospital for chest pains. Last month she was awarded $3 million for injuries sustained while getting her blood drawn during her stay.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, employees repeatedly probed for a vein during the draw, eventually rupturing Jenkins' brachial artery. A severe hematoma developed and lead to compartment syndrome, i.e., increased pressure within a confined space, such as between muscle fascia. The condition required surgical intervention in which the arm was opened from the elbow to the wrist to relieve the pressure. According to Jenkins’ attorney, the procedure rendered the arm useless, and the patient faces long-term pain and the possible amputation of the arm.
Christine Presley, Clinical Laboratory Supervisor at The Phlebotomy School at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, served as the plaintiff’s expert witness. Jenkins’ husband was awarded an additional $500,000. A spokesman for the hospital said it will appeal the verdict.
In a speech before Norwegian biomedical scientists in Oslo, Norway last month, the Center for Phlebotomy Education declared global war against preanalytical errors.
In his opening remarks at the annual conference of NITO Norwegian Institute of Biomedical Science, the Center’s Director, Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), announced, “Let it be known that on this day, at this conference, and in this city, we are declaring a global war on preanalytical errors.” Ernst cited statistics that show 11 percent of all transfusion-related deaths are caused by phlebotomists who misidentify patients or mislabel specimens, and a CAP estimate that 160,000 adverse patient events occur annually in the US alone due to labeling and identification errors. He recruited all who perform, teach or manage specimen collection procedures as “foot soldiers in the global campaign.”
To win the war, Ernst stressed the importance of knowing the enemy, including 30 of the greatest preanalytical threats to patient care. “Imagine a world without preanalytical errors,” he said. “There is no hemolysis, no underfilled tubes, no clotted EDTAs, no mislabeled specimens, no patient identification errors, and every patient is treated according to test results that accurately reflect his or her physiology. We can do this. We must do this!”
Attendees were urged to establish the frequency in which the most common errors are committed in their facilities, and instructed how to eradicate them by establishing benchmarks, setting goals, monitoring progress and rewarding those who have contributed to successful campaigns.“You have three weapons,” Ernst told the assembly. “Education, education, and education. Every patient is someone’s loved one. We must be ready for every patient’s encounter with healthcare. When someone’s need intersects with our expertise, it is imperative that every laboratory test result we put into the hands of every patient’s physician is devoid of the catastrophic impact of even one preanalytical error.”
Laboratories throughout the US will be celebrating their own during the week of April 19-25, not the least among them being phlebotomists.
Physicians rely on laboratory test results to provide at least seventy percent of the objective information they receive on their patients’ health status. Appreciating those who draw, transport, and process blood specimens---not just during this week of recognition but all year long---is critical to keeping the stream of information labs extract from specimens flowing swiftly and accurately.“Too often phlebotomists feel like the neglected orphans of the laboratory,” says Ernst. “Lab Week is an excellent time to remove any shadow of doubt that those who collect specimens are appreciated.”
Here’s what subscribers to Phlebotomy Today, the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s paid-subscription newsletter currently in its 9th year of publication, are reading about this month:
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Q: It is my understanding that if a blue top is the only tube to be drawn, it no longer needs a waste tube unless it is being drawn with a butterfly. This is contrary to several things I had read in the past, i.e., that the clot-activator tubes should not be drawn before anticoagulant tubes because of possible contamination, and also that tissue thromboplastin in the needle could interfere with a blue top drawn by itself. Can you help clarify this for me please?
A: No study has ever proven that tissue thromboplastin interferes with coagulation studies. It’s always been speculation until the late 1990s when studies proved that drawing a discard tube before the citrate tube made no difference in protime and aPTT results. Therefore, CLSI discontinued their recommendation for a discard tube in 1998 when drawing a protime or aPTT.
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, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyCentral.html.
Both the “What Would You Do?” column and the “Survey Says” column are on spring break. Both will return next month.
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