CE/CME

Specimen Collection

Welcome to the training on Specimen Collection provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Credit Hours: 1.00 CE

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Goal

The goal of this module is to equip Texas Health Steps providers and others to implement requirements and best practices for specimen collection and handling in a clinical office setting.

Target Audience

Texas Health Steps providers and other interested health-care professionals.

Specific Learning Objectives

After completing the activities of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Apply the requirements of the Texas Health Steps Periodicity Schedule to conduct laboratory screening as part of preventive medical checkups for patients age birth through 20 years.
  2. Distinguish between Texas Health Steps laboratory tests that must be performed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory and those that may be processed by a laboratory of the provider’s choice.
  3. Evaluate common errors that may cause specimens to be rejected for testing or may lead to inaccurate results.
  4. Specify the blood collection devices and techniques that should be employed for various blood tests for children of different ages.
  5. Interpret the DSHS Laboratory’s specimen submission requirements and reporting protocols.

Please note this module expires on 8/14/2026.

This module was released on 8/14/2023.

Featured In Course

Medical Definitions

The medical definitions in this module were obtained or adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic and the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Continuing Medical Education

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service is accredited by the Texas Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Continuing Nursing Education

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has awarded 1.00 contact hour(s) of Continuing Nursing Education.

Social Workers

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service under sponsor number CS3065 has been approved by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners to offer continuing education contact hours to social workers. The approved status of The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service expires annually on December 31. The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has awarded 1.00 contact hour(s) of Continuing Social Work Education.

Certificate of Attendance

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has designated 1.00 hour(s) for attendance.

General Disclosure

One of the requirements of continuing education is disclosure of the following information to the learner:

  1. Notice of requirements for successful completion of continuing education activity. To receive continuing education credit the learner must successfully complete the following activities:
    • Create a Texas Health Steps account.
    • Complete on-line registration process.
    • Thoroughly read the content of the module.
    • Complete the on-line examination.
    • Complete the evaluation.
  2. Commercial Support.
    The THSTEPS Web-based Continuing Education Series has received no commercial support.
  3. Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships.
    The THSTEPS Continuing Education Planning Committee and the authors of these modules have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  4. Non-Endorsement Statement.
    Accredited status does not imply endorsement of any commercial products or services by the Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service; Texas Medical Association; or American Nurse Credentialing Center.
  5. Off-Label Use.
    Using a disclosure review process, the THSTEPS Continuing Education Planning Committee has examined documents and has concluded that the authors of these modules have not included content that discusses off-label use (use of products for a purpose other than that for which they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration).

The following are policies and definitions of terms related to continuing education disclosure:

The intent of disclosure is to allow Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Continuing Education Service the opportunity to resolve any potential conflicts of interest to assure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all of its Continuing Education activities.

All faculty, planners, speakers and authors of Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Continuing Education Service sponsored activities are expected to disclose to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Continuing Education Service any relevant financial, relationships with any commercial or personal interest that produces health care goods or services concerned with the content of an educational presentation. Faculty, planners, speakers and authors must also disclose where there are any other potentially biasing relationships of a professional or personal nature.

Glossary of Terms

Conflict of Interest: Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect Continuing Education content about products or services of a commercial interest with which she/he has a financial relationship or where there are any other potentially biasing relationships of a professional or personal nature.

Commercial Interest: Any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.

Financial Relationships: Those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities for which remuneration is received or expected. Relevant financial relationships would include those within the past 12 months of the person involved in the activity and a spouse or partner. Relevant financial relationships of your spouse or partner are those of which you are aware at the time of this disclosure.

Off Label: Using products for a purpose other that that for which it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Texas Health Steps courses are best viewed using a current browser. If you are using an out-of-date browser or a version of Internet Explorer less than 11, lesson progress and interactive features may not function properly.

Health-Care Providers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings: Healthcare Providers - When and how to practice hand hygiene.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2020). Disease Reporting | HIV/STD Reporting: Information for Texas Health Care Providers and Laboratories.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2020). Laboratory Services.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2020). Notifiable Conditions List.

Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Health Steps: Specimen Collection and Handling.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Medical Checkup Forms for Texas Health Steps Providers.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Provider Portals for Texas Health Steps.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Texas Health Steps Medical Checkup Periodicity Schedule for Infants, Children and Adolescents.

Blood lead testing resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention video about best practices for fingerstick collection for blood lead specimens. Mission Unleaded: How to test children for lead with maximum accuracy (Video is 18 minutes long; key content begins at 9:36 min.)

Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (TXCLPPP). Links to follow-up forms, including a flowchart, Pb-109: Reference for Blood Lead Retesting and Medical Case Management, for determining when follow-up blood lead testing is necessary. The flowchart includes schedules for obtaining a diagnostic venous specimen, for follow-up venous blood lead testing and for medical case management for children with diagnostic elevated blood lead levels.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2020). Reporting Blood Lead Level Test Results.

Texas Legislature requirements outlined in Texas Administrative Code. Reporting Blood Level Test Results.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2023). Blood Lead Surveillance Frequently Asked Questions.

Texas Department of State Health Services. Health Care Providers - Adolescent Health.

Texas Department of State Health Services. Blood Lead Surveillance Branch-Updated Blood Lead Reference Value (BLRV).

Texas Department of State Health Services blood lead surveillance videos:

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2020). pb 120-Childhood Blood Lead Screening Guidelines.

Resources to help children and families understand and tolerate blood draws

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (2022). 5 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Blood Draws

The Hospital for Sick Children: AboutKidsHealth. (2020). Blood work: Helping your child get ready.