Pre-analytical Considerations

An I-BEST Unit for Phlebotomy

Developed by Paula Harms-Van Duyn, Basic Skills Instructor
NMSU Alamogordo


“Pre-analytical considerations must be kept in the forefront of all that a phlebotomist does. Any error that occurs can affect the test, and/or can make everything that comes after the error wrong. For this reason, it’s important to emphasize pre-analytical considerations throughout the entire course.

This course is an entry-level college course, and while some of our students take Phlebotomy Tech later in their college careers, many of our students take this course in their first three semesters of college. Most students are unaware what is necessary in a college level discussion, including using APA format. Because many students have not had much experience with college, many also need help navigating the online learning system as well. For the most part, students have learned concepts in isolation rather than contextualization, and many have concerns with applying concepts.

Both the content and basic skills instructors are involved in these activities. If students struggle with topics, fail to turn in assignments, or score low on quizzes or discussions, they may be referred to separate open lab with the basic skills instructor. During didactic presentations, both instructors are part of class discussion either as a participant or facilitator.”


Common Career Technical Core (CCTC)
4. Communicate clearly, effectively and with reason.8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Professional Learning Standards

o Identify existing and potential hazards to clients, coworkers, visitors, and self in the healthcare workplace
o Describe, differentiate, and safely perform the responsibilities of healthcare support services roles
o Demonstrate work practices that maintain a clean and healthy healthcare facility to reduce or eliminate pathogenic organisms
o Maximize available resources for proper care and use of healthcare equipment and materials


  • Course Competencies
    1. Perform Correct tourniquet application
    2. Demonstrate the ability to correctly and safely draw venous blood using
      1. Needle and evacuated tube system
      2. Syringe and needle
      3. Syringe and winged blood collection system
    3. Exhibit the ability to correctly and safely draw capillary blood using a lancet and capillary tube
    4. Verbalize the correct order of draw and the rationale for following the order of draw
    5. Perform all procedures using correct hand hygiene and using appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Professional Skills

    o Indirect care
    o Order of draw
    o Math calculations



“Because little of my education, and professional experience, has been in the healthcare field, I am continually learning from my students. When students need to review, I ask them to teach me and have their peers evaluate the content each has taught. I get to be the student of my students, which reinforces their own learning, and at the same time I learn more about the content area. Having said this, I will never be the expert in the phlebotomy content area. I may know things, but I am not the expert, and I cannot teach as if I am the expert.

I always start lessons by relating the topic(s) to something students know or have experienced. Generally, the basic skills lessons correlate to the content material. In other words, the activities directly correspond to something students have just read or are about to read. We do the ‘One of these things is not like the other’ lesson after students have been practicing their blood draws for a while. Even though students need to be aware of pre-analytical considerations, we do not want to scare them so that they do not want to practice venipunctures. We take a lot of time after the video to get out fears and concerns so that students will keep the lesson in mind, but it won’t paralyze them with fear.”

PDF: PHL – Pre Analytical Considerations Unit Overview