A pathology collector course equips you with knowledge and skills to collect medical samples from patients, organize sample delivery, and keep medical records. Pathology collectors extract, label, and collect patient samples. They then deliver these samples to laboratories for processing.
A pathology collector may work in a hospital, collection center, or a specialist pathologist center. They may also travel to households to collect samples from patients who are bedridden or housebound.
Pursuing an online pathology course
Because of the practical aspects of pathology, a pathology course is pursued in two sections. The first section involves online classes and practical workshops. The second part involves 35 hours of work placement. After successful completion, you will receive Certificate III in Pathology collection. Before you join the course, you will need to take a basic literacy and numeracy test to showcase your communication skills. You don’t need previous experience in the medical field.
What are the duties of a pathology collector?
- Directing patients through the sampling process
- Drawing blood using hypodermic needles
- Collecting DNA samples and mucus using swabs
- Accurately labeling and storing all samples
- Preparation, transportation, and delivery samples
- Complying with workplace safety and strict hygiene regulations
- Keeping detailed and accurate records of patient history
- Clear communication with patients from diverse backgrounds and patients of all ages
Skills required for Pathology collection
- Communication skills
A pathology collector must communicate clearly with patients before they proceed to extract any specimen. The collectors will meet a diverse group of people. Hence, they must develop in communicating with the elderly, people with disabilities, and indigenous groups among others.
Pathology collectors must also practice discretion and empathy in their communication with patients. They should listen to patient concerns and answer questions accurately. A patient should never be made uncomfortable.
- Record-keeping skills
Samples collected by a pathologist must be meticulously labeled and stored. Any mistake in labeling may lead to a wrong diagnosis. Lack of proper storage will lead to contamination especially if the patient samples must be transported to a different location for processing.
Proper record-keeping will also help in the generation of an accurate report of a patient’s health. Pathologist records may at times provide valuable evidence in criminal cases.
- Customer service skills
In pathology collection, you will be in close contact with a wide variety of patients. Therefore, you must have excellent customer service skills. Your service must be helpful, efficient, and professional. High-quality customer service is essential if your work takes you into people’s households. You must show respect for the patient and their property.
- Technical skills
A good pathologist must be adept in the collection of different body samples including blood, urine, and DNA samples. They should be skilled in the use of the tools of their trade including hypodermic needles, swabs, and ECG machines. Additionally, they should be able to prepare, transport, and deliver samples on time. Pathology collectors should be knowledgeable about different ailments. This knowledge will help them answer the patient’s questions accurately. Last but not least, the pathologist should be well informed on infection control and prevention.
Job opportunities for pathology collectors
- Specimen Collection Officer
- Pathology Collector (different grades)
- Specialist Specimen Collectors, for example a phlebotomist
- Laboratory assistants