Medical Lab Technician Assistant

Enrolled in Medical Lab Tech Training? 3 Things to Remember When Handling Specimens

October 28, 2022

Medical lab technicians are an essential part of our medical system. As a lab tech, you are responsible for obtaining, testing, and reporting the results of various specimens, including blood, body fluids, and tissue samples.

These services help provide doctors with the information they need to properly diagnose and treat a patient. Lab techs must be meticulous when collecting and handling specimens for the safety of the patients and the validity of the tests they’ll run.

If you’re considering becoming a medical lab tech, here are four things to remember when handling specimens in your career.

1. Always Double-Check That Your Samples Are Accurately Labelled

The samples you collect need to be processed and their information sent to the doctor, who will then make the right decision regarding the patient’s care. The label contains information about the patient, such as their first and last name, the identification number, and the time the sample was taken. For this reason, labelling the samples is important to ensure the correct test is performed and the information is passed on to the relevant doctor. 

Before collecting samples, check the patient’s armband and ask for their name and date of birth. Then collect the samples, labelling them as the sample is collected. Your medical lab technician training at Medix College will feature lessons on properly collecting and labelling collected samples. At Medix, you will practice in front of professional lab technicians to learn the process effectively.

2. Best Practices for Specimen Collection

Today science has enabled medical professionals to identify a whole host of illnesses and problems using samples collected from the patient. These samples could be blood, saliva, urine, and more. As a medical lab technician, it’s your responsibility to collect these samples safely and effectively. Below we’ll go into some best practices for collecting the different samples you’ll have to collect. 

After your medical lab tech training, you’ll know how to handle patient samples properly.

Before collecting any sample, ask the patient if they’ve been preparing for this test. Many tests require that the patient fasts for a certain amount of time before the test. Some patients may need to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or other substances before a test. It’s essential to check with the patient to see if they’ve followed these guidelines before coming in for their test. 

After your medical lab tech training, you’ll learn the importance of ensuring your patient feels at ease. They may feel uncomfortable providing a urine sample or be nervous about having blood drawn. If this is the case try to offer support and listen empathetically.

3. Good Communication Is Essential After Medical Lab Tech School

A laboratory technician communicates with patients daily as they collect samples. Some patients may have fear or discomfort about having their test done. It’s your job to do your best to make them as comfortable as possible. You can build a positive rapport with them by discussing their day or weekend plans.

Your medical lab tech training will dedicate time to practical hands-on training.

Ask them if they have any questions or concerns about the procedure. If they have any, try to accommodate them as best you can. 

An example of this might be when you perform an excisional biopsy, where technicians collect a sample of abnormal skin. The test can be uncomfortable for most people, so properly explaining the procedure and making sure the patient feels as comfortable as possible with what’s happening will make the experience less troublesome.


Are you ready to attend medical lab tech school and become a lab technician?

Contact Medix College for more information!

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