Friday 24 April 2015

NUH patient service associates to be trained to draw blood

By Jean Khoo, TODAY, 22 Apr 2015

Patients who need to fast for certain tests, such as blood glucose and cholesterol testing, can expect a shorter waiting period at the National University Hospital (NUH) before they have their blood drawn by qualified personnel.

To help save patients’ time, NUH is expanding the work scope of its patient service associates (PSAs) to enable them to perform phlebotomy — the medical procedure of drawing blood samples.

"Patient Service Associates (PSAs) are an important member of the public healthcare team in delivering quality care to...
Posted by National University Hospital on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

As the hospital’s frontline staff, the basic duties of PSAs include registering patients, scheduling appointments and collecting payment.

NUH will have 19 PSAs trained to perform phlebotomy this year, and about 20 per cent of the 470 PSAs from its specialist outpatient clinics trained over the next three years, said the hospital, which celebrated its inaugural PSA Day today (April 22).

To mark the occasion, a carnival was held this morning, while Health Minister Gan Kim Yong presented the Model PSA Award to Ms Nagoormeera Syed Masood at a ceremony in the evening.

Ms Elaine Chua, a 23-year-old PSA, said she had volunteered to attend the phlebotomy training because she wanted to be more directly involved in patient care.

“Also, because I used to have a fear of needles, I can understand what a patient is going through,” she added.

Phlebotomy training requires PSAs to go through three days of theory lessons, which include topics on safety measures and proper vein selection.

After that, they will have to go through a practical course, during which they will perform the procedure on 50 patients under the supervision of a trained staff member.

NUH assistant chief operating officer Clara Sin said: “Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on patient and staff safety. Hence, patients should feel assured that any staff member assigned for the role of blood drawing is fully competent in his or her role.”

She added that having PSAs do phlebotomy would help patients who need to fast and arrive early in the morning for a blood test.

“Having more staff trained to draw blood will enable us to channel more resources to blood drawing in the morning. Staff can move on to other roles in the later part of the day,” Ms Sin said.

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