A Lab Guide to Modern Specimen Collection

December 8, 2021by scijo0

The modern world is an amazing place.

We have instant access to information and we can do things that were once thought impossible.

Take modern specimen collection, for example. It has become so easy and efficient thanks to modern technology and our lab guide will show you how!

 

Collecting a specimen from the oral cavity

Collecting a specimen from the oral cavity is a quick and easy process.

All you need is a sterile container, some cotton balls, and a little bit of patience.

First, swab the inside of the mouth with a cotton ball until it is wet.

Then place the cotton ball in the container and close the lid tightly.

Be sure to label the container with your name and date!

Be careful not to touch the cotton ball with your fingers.

The skin on our hands is full of bacteria and oils that can contaminate the sample!

Also, avoid touching the inside of your mouth. Your saliva can contaminate the specimen!

 

Collecting a specimen from an ear canal

In order to collect a sample from the ear, you will need to use microscope slides and micro-tweezers.

First, insert a cotton ball into your external auditory meatus until it is completely soaked with cerumen (earwax).

Then take two microscope slides and carefully pry the wax off of the cotton ball with the micro-tweezers.

Place one slide in the container and label it with your name and date.

Be very careful not to contaminate the other slide!

Usually, there is not a lot of wax in the ear canal, so this process should only take a few minutes.

If you have a hard time removing the wax from your ear canal, consider using Debrox.

This is an over-the-counter medication that is specifically designed to soften earwax!

 

Collecting a specimen from the nose and sinuses

To collect a specimen from the nose and sinuses, you will need a sterile container, some cotton balls, and a little bit of patience.

First, swab the inside of the nose with a cotton ball until it is wet.

Then place the cotton ball in the container and close the lid tightly.

Be sure to label the container with your name and date!

As with the oral cavity, it is important to avoid touching the cotton ball. The skin on your hands can contaminate your specimen!

It’s important to note that the nose is made up of both bone and soft tissue. Some areas are easier to enter than others!

If you have difficulty collecting a sample, consider using a nasal aspirator.

This is an instrument that allows you to easily collect mucus from the nose!

 

Collecting a specimen from the throat

To collect a specimen from the throat, you will need a sterile container and some cotton balls.

First, swab the back of the throat with a cotton ball until it is wet.

Then place the cotton ball in the container and close the lid tightly.

Be sure to label the container with your name and date!

As with the previous samples, it is important to avoid touching the cotton ball. The skin on your hands can contaminate your specimen!

A little trick to get rid of your gag reflex is to hold your breath while you swab the throat!

 

Collection of blood, urine, or stool samples for culture and sensitivity testing

In order to collect blood, urine, or stool specimens for the microbiology laboratory you will need a sterile container.

Be sure to label your collection containers clearly with the patient’s name, date of birth, and time of sample collection.

All three types should be centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes and the supernatant discarded.

Urine samples should be collected in a sterile container and centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes.

The pellet is then suspended in 0.85% saline and a loopful of suspension is streaked onto an agar plate.

Stool specimens should be collected in a sterile container and shaken vigorously.

The mixture is then centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes to collect the bacteria in a pellet on the bottom of the container.

This pellet is then suspended in 0.85% saline and a loopful of suspension is streaked onto an agar plate.

Blood samples should be collected in a sterile container and centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes.

The supernatant is discarded, leaving the cells and platelets at the bottom of the container.

The cells and platelets are suspended in 0.85% saline, and a loopful of suspension is streaked onto an agar plate.

 

Collection of vaginal swabs for STD screening

To collect a vaginal specimen you will need a sterile container, some cotton balls, and a little bit of patience.

First, insert a cotton ball into your external genitalia until it is completely soaked with secretions.

Then take two microscope slides and carefully pry the secretions off of the cotton ball with the micro-tweezers.

Place one slide in the container and label it with your name and date. Be very careful not to contaminate the other slide!

Once the cotton ball is removed, insert the micro-tweezers into your vagina and gently swab inside.

Place this second slide in the container and label it with your name and date.

If you have difficulty collecting a sample, consider using a vaginal aspirator or cytobrush.

 

Conclusion

It’s important to know the different ways in which you can collect a specimen from your customer.

A Lab Guide to Modern Specimen Collection is here to help!

Each of these six methods has its own pros and cons, but some are more invasive than others.

For example, collecting a culture or sensitivity sample from blood will be less painful for the patient while also being faster and easier on lab staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *