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Our valuable collectors – providing compassionate care – for all of us

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31st August, 2023

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.

A group of four people in NSW Health uniforms smiling.
Some of our friend­ly col­lec­tion staff

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. 


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