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New Guideline on Phlebotomy Training Released

by Dennis Ernst • June 08, 2017

GP48_Cover_1000wIn April, the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute released a guideline to assist educators and trainers in establishing and improving their in-house and academic phlebotomy training programs.

Essential Elements of a Phlebotomy Training Program provides recommendations of the content that should be included in an effective and comprehensive program that trains healthcare professionals to collect blood and non-blood samples, and perform other functions critical to the preanalytic phase of laboratory testing. Multiple studies have found a comprehensive training program results in fewer hemolyzed samples and samples rejected for other reasons, lower blood culture contamination rates, and greater compliance with the standard protocol

The guideline, the only one in the industry, provides a comprehensive outline to save educators at healthcare facilities and academic institutions many hours of research and curriculum development.

"When I pitched this idea to CLSI, I knew educators in the lab and nursing professions were hungry for something authoritative to help them bolster their training programs, or to create one where one did not exist," says Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT), who was tapped as chairholder of the committee that developed the guideline. "Any facility that implements our suggestions can be confident their program is built on the advice and guidance of some of the most respected educators and authorities in the industry."

This guideline covers all aspects of preanalytics including the collection of blood and non-blood samples, general and technical course content, and clinical and remedial training. It includes 16 content categories essential to every effective program and considerations for an effective clinical practice component. The appendices include an expansive list of questions every educator must ask him/herself when assessing the caliber of their existing programs.

"Those responsible for putting trainees through a phlebotomy curriculum---in-house or academic---need to square their curriculum with this guideline," says Ernst

The guideline is available in print and digital formats from CLSI, and by special arrangement from the Center for Phlebotomy Education. 

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