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HealthCenter21: Specimen Collection & Testing

This module provides an overview of the guidelines and safety precautions for handling specimens and CLIA-waived tests. Students practice common procedures for collecting stool and urine specimens, strain urine, and perform common tests. They explore cultures, smears, and stains and practice taking throat, wound, and sputum specimens.

Unit: Asking and Discussing Questions

In this activity, students are asked to write down three to five questions or concerns they have about various topics related to specimen collection and testing.


Unit: Policies and Practices for Specimens

In this unit, students will learn about: specimen collection, CLIA, and CLIA-waived tests. They explore scope of practice for health care workers when collecting and testing specimens, the importance of patient education, standard precautions for specimen collection, the proper use of specimen containers and labels and guidelines for transporting and storing specimens. 

  1. Introduction 
  2. Safety Precautions 
  3. Quiz


Unit: Collecting Urine Specimens

In this unit, students will learn about: urine specimens, including routine, clean-catch, 24-hour, and pediatric urine specimens and learn procedures for ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients. 

  1. Routine Urine Specimen 
  2. Clean-Catch Urine Specimen 
  3. 24-Hour Urine Specimen 
  4. Pediatric Urine Specimen 
  5. Quiz


Unit: Straining and Testing Urine

In this unit, students will learn about: straining and testing urine, including how to identify which patients are at risk of developing stones, the three main areas of urinalysis, the four areas of physical assessment, the substances that are tested during chemical assessment, and the procedures for physical and chemical urinalysis. 

  1. Straining Urine 
  2. Urinalysis 
  3. Urine Pregnancy Test 
  4. Quiz


Unit: Stool Specimen and Tests

In this unit, students will learn about: stool specimen collection and testing, including the procedures used for ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients, occult blood, and how to perform a Hemoccult test on a stool specimen. 

  1. Stool Specimen 
  2. Testing Stool Specimen 
  3. Quiz


Unit: Cultures and Smears

In this unit, students will learn about: cultures and smears used to isolate disease causing organisms, including staining techniques like Gram's, and acid-fast, wet-mount slide preparation, hanging-drop slide preparation, throat and wound cultures and sputum collection, and how to use a compound microscope. 

  1. Cultures and Smears 
  2. Throat Culture 
  3. Wound Culture 
  4. Sputum 
  5. Microscopes 
  6. Quiz


Unit: Reflection Questions and Discussion

In this activity, students will journal about responding to patient needs and knowing safety precautions to follow during specimen collection procedures. A class discussion on these topics can follow.


Unit: Cleaning Experiment

In this project, students work in groups to test and compare the effectiveness of three cleaning products: soap and water, a disinfectant cleaner, and bleach as they create cultures and compare the results.


Unit: Patient Care Scenarios

In this activity, students practice procedures learned in the module using various scenarios -- sometimes in less-than-ideal circumstances.


Unit: Current Event

Students will review articles for information related to a topic in the module. Once an article is found, students complete a Current Event form.

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