Awareness of Pre-Analytical Errors Amongst Nurses – The Phlebotomists in Our Local Set Up
Objective: To assess the awareness of these errors amongst nurses, the primary phlebotomists in our system, in the light of their relative qualifications and phlebotomy experience.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Mayo Hospital, Lahore. Ninety- three registered nurses were included in the study through purposive sampling, excluding student & head nurses. Data were collected through a structured pre-tested questionnaire with supplementary Urdu translation.
Results: Of the 93 nurses, 70% were diploma holders, 59% had less than 5 years of phlebotomy experience and 83% were trained at public sector hospitals. Total correct responses were more amongst diploma holders (mean=7.42) as compared to graduate nurses (mean=7.14). Awareness of ideal sampling practices was inadequate amongst majority. In questions related to appropriate vacutainer selection, maximum correct responses were recorded for calcium estimation (95%) but extremely low for biochemistry, serology (4.3%) and glucose estimation (1.1%). When compared on the basis of phlebotomy experience, correct responses were more among nurses with less than 5 years’ work experience (2/3rd of questions & mean=7.6) when compared to nurses with 5 or more years of experience (1/3rd of questions & mean=6.9).
Conclusion: Diploma qualified nurses showed greater overall awareness compared to their graduate counterparts. However, awareness of recommended sampling practices was low amongst most participants. With the exception of calcium estimation, for other tests the correct vacutainer was identified by below 50 % of participants.
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