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Pathology relies on the expertise of our front-line collectors for reliable and accurate pathology results.
Pathology collectors play a crucial and valuable role in the healthcare system, benefiting patients, medical practitioners and the wider community.
They collect blood samples for diagnostic testing and provide advice to patients on self-collection of samples such as urine and faeces. Our collectors do these collections for patients in various settings, like outpatient clinics, hospital wards, community centres, aged care facilities and even patient homes.
The work of collectors is vital. They are a critical link between the referring clinician, patients and the pathology test results. Their expertise ensures accurate, safe and timely collection of samples, directly impacting the quality of diagnostic results.
Judy Kempton-Webb, Director of Pre and Post Analytics at NSW Health Pathology, emphasises the significance of the collector role: “Every day our collectors interact with such a diverse range of patients, each with their own unique stories, needs, and expectations of the service.
“It’s incredibly varied and challenging and hinges on strong customer service skills, treating each person with kindness and dignity – just as our labs treat each sample with care and respect.”
Reliable test results lead to faster and more accurate diagnoses, enabling healthcare providers to administer treatments promptly, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Collectors are the friendly face of pathology, providing compassionate and reassuring support during the sometimes anxiety-inducing sample collection process. This empathetic approach fosters patient trust and cooperation, making patients comfortable and willing to return for any future tests they may need.
Lorretta Thomson, Statewide Collections Manager at NSW Health Pathology, says: “I’m sure you, like me, have your own experiences when you need a pathology test. It can be stressful and uncomfortable; some of us even put it off for as long as possible. Having a good experience eases anxiety and can change how you feel about future tests.”
Collectors create a positive experience for patients from the moment they bring their request form to a collection centre or go to their bedside, until their samples arrive safely for processing at one of our laboratories.
“Their value extends beyond their technical skills,” Loretta says.
“It lies in how they make patients feel. Working in a busy environment, collectors confidently care for every patient with respect and empathy.”
We have taken proactive steps to collect patient feedback through a statewide collection centre survey, allowing them to focus their efforts on what is important to our consumers and continuously improve the services.
Together, our team developed a “Collecting with Care” guide. It reflects their commitment to personalised patient care and providing the best experience possible.
Recognising that each patient is unique and deserves respect and individual attention, this guide helps collectors tailor their approach to meet the specific needs of each individual.
As an indispensable part of the healthcare system, the dedicated efforts of collectors significantly improve the well-being of patients, families and communities as a whole.
Are you a pathology collector or thinking about a change of career? Want to join our team? Find out about career opportunities here.