Minimizing Pre-Analytical Variability During Venipuncture, Urine Sample Collection, and Sample Processing (Online CE Course)

(based on 995 customer ratings)

Jack A. Maggiore, PhD, MT(ASCP)
Reviewer: Lisa Dewey, MT(ASCP) and Carol Becker, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

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Clinicians make patient care decisions based on the results of laboratory testing. Pre-analytical errors can have a significant negative impact that prevents the delivery of quality patient care. These negative outcomes can range from unnecessary redraws and delayed results, to improper treatment, misdiagnosis, and even death. This course is intended to emphasize the pre-analytical variables that must be controlled during venipuncture and urine collection procedures in order to ensure the quality reporting of laboratory test results.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 11/30/2025
Approved through 11/30/2025


  • Categorize the phases of clinical laboratory testing as pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical.
  • Identify several of the pre-analytical variables associated with patient preparation.
  • Explain the phlebotomist’s role in minimizing pre-analytical variability associated with venipuncture and urine sample collection.
  • Specify the most frequently encountered sources of hemolysis.
  • Recognize potential sources of pre-analytical variability associated with sample handling and transportation.
  • Determine the common pre-analytical causes of unanticipated laboratory results.

Customer Ratings

(based on 995 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Phases of Clinical Laboratory Testing
  • Patient Identification
  • Variables Related to Patient Preparation
  • Variables Related to Blood Sample Collection
      • The Blood Collection Process
      • Blood Collection: Patient Position
      • Site Cleansing/Disinfecting
      • Blood Collection: Needle Gauge
      • Blood Collection: Tourniquet
      • Tube Mixing
      • Blood Collection: Tube Type and Collection Volume
      • Order of Draw
      • Blood Collection: Traumatic Draw
      • Blood Collection: Intravenous Solutions
      • Which of the following blood collection variables may falsely increase the plasma potassium level if the potassium sample is collected using a green-t...
  • Variables Related to Urine Sample Collection
      • Urine Collection: Preservatives
      • Urine Collection: Timed Urine Specimens
      • Urine Collection: Incomplete Urine Collection
      • Urine Collection: Dilutional Effect on Urinary Markers
      • Urine Collection: Contamination of Urine Samples
      • A 24-hour urine collection should include the first morning void on day one of the collection and the first morning void on day two of the collection.
  • Variables Related to Sample Transport
      • Sample Transport Time
      • Sample Transport Temperature
      • Sample Mechanical Transport
      • When the transport time may be prolonged for circumstances beyond the control of the laboratory, the integrity of the sample may be preserved by keepi...
  • Variables Related to Sample Handling
      • Time Between Sample Collection and Centrifugation
      • Incomplete Gel Barriers in a Sample
  • Variables Related to Sample Preparation
  • Variables Related to Sample Storage
  • The Matrix Interferents
      • The Matrix Interferents
      • Hemolysis
      • Lipemia
      • Icterus
      • Viscosity
      • Which blood matrix interferent is considered to be the most preventable when precautions are taken during sample collection and handling?
  • Investigating Unanticipated Analytical Findings
  • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Basic

Intended Audience: This course is intended for phlebotomists, phlebotomy supervisors, patient care coordinators, medical laboratory technicians, medical laboratory scientists, laboratory supervisors, managers and directors. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science students and pathology residents.

Author Information: Jack A. Maggiore, PhD, MT(ASCP) serves as the Assistant Laboratory Director of Chemistry and is Head of Research and Development at Doctor's Data, Inc. in Saint Charles, Illinois. Dr. Maggiore is a medical technologist, certified by the ASCP, with a Master of Science in Clinical Chemistry and Doctorate in Pathology from the University of Illinois. His expertise includes clinical instrumentation, method development and validation, quality assurance, medical device clinical trials, and scientific regulatory affairs. His clinical research interests include development of novel biomarkers for chronic diseases using blood spots and other non-conventional samples. Dr. Maggiore holds several medical device patents, has authored more than fifty peer-reviewed and invited publications and textbook chapters, and has presented his research findings at international scientific society meetings. Dr. Maggiore's mission is to work with health care professionals to empower consumers to take a more active role in their health maintenance.

Reviewer information: Lisa Dewey, MT(ASCP) is the Quality Manager at Doctor's Data, Inc. and has been a medical technologist since 1990. She obtained a BS in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lisa has experience working in various specialties in hospital and clinic laboratories, research & development, laboratory management, and a commercial laboratory specializing in dried blood spot testing.
Reviewer information: Carol Becker, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM is a retired Program Director for the Clinical Laboratory Science program and Histology program at OSF St. Francis Medical Center located in Peoria, Illinois. Carol received her Master's degree at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois and her Bachelor's degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Illinois. 

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 180 CE courses, most popular
$109Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$55Add to cart
Phlebotomy CE Package$59Add to cart
Individual course$25Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
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