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Laboratory Improvement: Laboratory Improvement Training Workshops

**UPDATED FOR 2022**

Laboratory Improvement Training Workshops

For future announcements regarding workshops or continuing education opportunities, continue to check this page and/or email us and provide your name, facility and preferred email address.

2022 Trainings

  • Workshop Locations: All workshops are held at the State Lab of Public Health unless otherwise stated.
  • Workshop Registration: Workshop applications are available from each workshop description below.

Please click on the headings below for workshop dates and additional information, including registration forms.

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 2022 Packaging and Shipping Regulations

Workshop Director: Kristi Jenkins, Barbie Page
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.0 (subject to change)
Fee: $0

We are currently offering both virtual and in-person options around the state. To register for virtual workshops, please email kristi.jenkins@dhhs.nc.gov with the preferred date of attendance. To register for the in-person events, contact michelle.rufus@dhhs.nc.gov

Program Description: The packaging and shipping of clinical laboratory specimens is regulated by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as a Class 6 hazardous material. The primary goal of these regulations is to ensure the safety of individuals, animals and the environment against risks associated with transporting hazardous materials.

Federal law requires specific training and testing of all individuals "…who affect the transport of hazardous materials in commerce.” The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health is sponsoring this program to assist employers in certifying their employees to safely collect, package and ship Category A, Category B, Exempt Human and specimens that result from the possible exposure to a chemical terrorism or chemical threat agent. Attendance will assist in maintaining compliance with the College of American pathologists (CAP), JACHO, and DOT regulations in effect as of March 2011.

Plan: This intermediate level course integrates lectures and discussions with “hands-on” function specific training so that participants can demonstrate their understanding of the fundamentals necessary for proper classification, marking, labeling, packing, and documenting of Division 6.2 hazardous materials for transport by land, air and U.S. mail.  

Who Should Attend: Healthcare professionals and those persons actively involved in packing diagnostic and infectious specimens for shipment to the state lab and other reference labs, as well as diagnostic specimens that result from exposure to a chemical threat agent.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB) - Applications must be received by deadline dates! Late applications will not be accepted.

Workshop Dates: Hours: Application Deadline Dates: Location:
March 30, 2022 9 am – 3 pm February 28, 2022 Virtual
April 12, 2022 9 am – 4 pm March 14, 2022 State Laboratory, Raleigh
May 11, 2022 9 am – 4 pm April 11, 2022 Clay County Health Department, Hayesville
June 8, 2022 9 am – 3 pm May 9, 2022 Virtual
June 29, 2022 9 am – 4 pm May 30, 2022 Vidant, Greenville
July 20, 2022 9 am – 3 pm June 20, 2022 Virtual
August 9, 2022 9 am – 4 pm July 11, 2022 High Point Medical Center
September 13, 2022 9 am – 4 pm August 15, 2022 State Laboratory, Raleigh
October 25, 2022 9 am – 4 pm September 26, 2022 Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory
November 16, 2022 9 am – 3 pm October 17, 2022 Virtual
December 6, 2022 9 am – 4 pm November 7, 2022 State Laboratory, Raleigh

 

 Bacteriological Methods for the Analysis of Drinking Water (Abbreviated Version)

Workshop Director: Michele Sartin
PACE Contact Hours: 12.0
NCWOA Professional Growth Hours: 12.0
FEE: $120.00 

Program Description: This basic level workshop provides participants with the technical skills and knowledge to perform approved bacteriological laboratory procedures for the analysis of drinking water. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to describe qualitative and quantitative tests for total coliform and E. coli contamination, and heterotrophic plate counts for enumeration of general bacterial populations. Information will be presented in lectures and laboratory exercises. Students will gain technical skills using selected chromogenic/fluorogenic and plate count methodologies in order to perform laboratory analysis of drinking water samples.

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

TBD TBD Submit with application

**Trainings for 2022 and 2023 are currently on hold due to construction. Please contact the Certification Office at (919) 807-8879 for updates, guidance, and assistance.

 

 Bioterrorism Preparedness for Clinical Laboratories

Workshop Director: Barbie Page, Kristi Jenkins
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 6.5
Fee: $0.00

Program Description: This intermediate level one-day program focuses on practical microbiological methods clinical laboratorians should use to recognize, rule out, and refer agents of bioterrorism.  Laboratory presentations and demonstrations will provide the participants with up-to-date information on gram, stain, culture, and biochemical characteristics of these organisms that they can use to help with initial identification of these agents.  Emphasis will be on identification and biosafety procedures to allow the laboratorian to safely work with clinical isolates of these suspected organisms.  Participants will also learn briefly about the confirmatory procedures that are performed at the State Lab which serves as an LRN reference laboratory. Other topics covered include Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Chemical Terrorism.

Registration: Registration links will be provided as they become available.

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Registration link:

April 14, 2022 April 1, 2022 Coming soon
September 15, 2022 September 2, 2022 Coming soon
December 8, 2022 November 21, 2022 Coming soon

 

  Evaluation of a Stat Male Smear

Workshop Director: Karen Wall
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $20.00

Participants attending this workshop will learn how to collect, Gram stain, and correctly read a male urethral smear for the detection of gonorrhea. Laboratory quality assurance and quality control will be discussed as it pertains to the Gram stain procedure. Participants must correctly identify intracellular Gram-negative diplococci. Participants will learn how to quantify white blood cells/oif in the absence of intra-cellular Gram-negative diplococci in patients with suspected non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU).

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

March 17, 2022 February 17, 2022 March 10, 2022
July 20, 2022 June 20, 2022 July 13, 2022
November 10, 2022 October 10, 2022 November 3, 2022

 

 Microscopy Viewing and Reviewing, Examination of a Vaginal Wet Mount

Workshop Director: Tracey Shives, Karen Wall
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $40.00 

Program Description: This one-day workshop combines both the content of our Microscopy and Wet Mount workshops. In this basic level course, participants learn the principles of the brightfield microscope and the practical use of the precision instrument. Participants will develop skills in microscopy covering the following areas:

  • Identify all parts of a microscope and understand the function of each.
  • Clean and maintain the microscope.
  • Properly align the light to improve contrast and resolution using the Koehler Illumination technique.
  • List features to consider when purchasing a microscope.

The participants also learn techniques that are used in the identification and reporting of elements found in vaginal wet mount preparations. The course incorporates lectures and laboratory exercises including preparing wet mounts and identifying Trichomonas, yeast, clue cells, and bacteria in clinical specimens. A laboratory practical exam will be given at the end of the course.

The intended audiences are nurses and other nonlaboratory trained professionals whose responsibilities include microscopic work.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

January 19, 2022 January 12, 2022 January 12, 2022
May 18, 2022 April 18, 2022 May 11, 2022
August 17, 2022 July 18, 2022 August 10, 2022
August 18, 2022 July 18, 2022 August 10, 2022

 

 Lab Methods in the Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Workshop Director: Tracey Shives
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 11
Fee: $40.00

Program Description: This basic level workshop provides participants with technical skills and knowledge to perform laboratory procedures used in the isolation and identification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This two-day workshop will include hands-on experience with specimens and is designed for staff that perform laboratory tests for gonorrhea from cultures in a health department setting. This workshop will focus on basic bacteriology, quality assessment, and microbiological techniques used in the presumptive diagnosis of gonorrhea.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

February 23-24, 2022 January 24, 2022 February 16, 2022
June 15-16, 2022 May 16, 2022 June 8, 2022
October 19-20, 2022 September 19, 2022 October 12, 2022

 

Free Online Training Resources from NCSLPH

** Please note, our older trainings are being updated due to the end of Adobe Flash support. Additional training resources are available on our Biosafety page.

 Basic Microscopy

Link to Online Training: Basic Microscopy Training

Online Course Director: Michaela Harvey-Creech
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description

This course has been revised from a hard-copy format into an interactive program that is accessible on the State Lab website. The study was designed to improve the skills of clinical laboratorians tasked with duties or procedures that involve the use of a microscope. However the study in not a formal training and should be used as a review only, or to enhance formal training on the use of the microscope.

The on-line study opens to a series of slides that can be advanced at the user’s pace. It begins by describing key parts and their functions in relation to effectively using the microscope. It later incorporates key technical terms and procedures that will enhance the user’s ability to use the microscope correctly each time. After completing this course the participant should be able to identify all the parts of the microscope and understand the function of each.

 Chlamydia/Gonorrhea Specimen Collection and Form Training

Link to Online Training: Chlamydia/Gonorrhea Specimen Collection and Form Training

Online Course Director: Mark Turner
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description: This training was developed to provide instruction in the collection of specimens for Chlamydia/Gonorrhea testing and the completion of test request form DHHS #4011.

At the conclusion of the training, participants should be able to:

  • Determine if the patient meets the testing criteria established by the laboratory.
  • Correctly complete the test request form to accurately indicate testing eligibility.
  • Properly collect a vaginal specimen and submit the specimen to the laboratory using the GenProbe® vaginal specimen collection kits.
  • Recognize reasons for unsatisfactory Chlamydia/GC test results because of improper collection or submission.

At the end of the course, participants will be allowed to gauge their level of learning by completing an online quiz. Upon successful completion, the participant will receive a CE certificate for 1.0 contact hours.

 Newborn Screening: Specimen Collection and Form Training

Newborn Screening: Specimen Collection and Form Training

Online Course Director: Ann Grush
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 1.5
No Fee 

Program Description:  Instructions for completing the newborn screening filter paper form (#DHHS 3105) are available as an interactive, on-line course here or under the heading Newborn Screening. Demonstrations and animations instruct the user in the collection of the infant’s blood, application of the specimen to the form, completion of demographic information, and shipping requirements. The training module can be advanced at the user’s pace, and ends with an opportunity to take an on-line quiz. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Correctly complete the demographic information on the form.
  • Describe the proper blood collection procedure for infants.
  • List the unacceptable sites for blood collection from an infant.
  • Recognize valid and invalid blood spot specimens on the filter paper form.
  • Define the procedures for the proper handling of the forms.

The program is designed for nurses, phlebotomists, clinical laboratory scientists, and other medical professionals with responsibilities in completing and mailing the newborn screening filter paper form.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-170T-16

This training may be accessed on the Newborn Screening: Resources and Updates page.

 Guide to Rabies Packaging and Shipping

Link to Online Training: This training may be accessed on the Rabies Virus page under Virology/Serology.

Online Course Director: John Bunting
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee 

Program Description: Instructions for packaging and shipping samples to the NCSLPH for rabies testing are available here or under Virology/Serology – Rabies Virus “Rabies Packaging and Shipping Power Point Presentation”. Step by step instructions, along with photos, are used to instruct the user in properly and safely packaging the sample, filling out the submission form, and labeling the outside of the box. The presentation can be advanced at the user’s pace, and ends with an opportunity to take an on-line quiz to receive credit. At the conclusion of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Identify items needed to properly package specimens for rabies testing for the NCSLPH.
  • Correctly package and ship specimens for rabies testing for the NCSLPH.
  • Recognize the importance of proper shipping.
  • Ship specimens for weekend and holiday testing.
  • Identify the major reasons specimens are resulted as “unsatisfactory” or “test not performed”.

This course is designed for animal control officers and others with responsibilities of packaging and shipping suspect rabies specimens to the NCSLPH.

At the end of the course, participants will be allowed to gauge their level of learning by completing an on-line quiz. Upon successful completion, the participant will receive a CE Certificate for 1.0 contact hours.

 Urine Microscopic Exam Study

Link to Online Training: Urine Microscopic Exam Study

Online Course Director: Tiffany Perdue
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee 

Program Description: This online study is to be used as a review to improve the clinical skills of laboratorians who perform urinalysis testing on a daily basis. At the completion of this study, participants should be able to list elements of a good quality assessment program for urinalysis per Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute® (CLSI) guidelines. Normal and pathological microscopic elements found in a urine sample will be reviewed as well.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-121T-16

 Understanding the Basics: The Gram Staining Process

Link to Online Training: Understanding the Basics: The Gram Staining Process

Online Course Director: Tiffany Perdue
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee 

Program Description:  This online study will discuss the proper technique and correct interpretation of a Gram stain. Quality issues during smear preparation and Gram staining will be discussed as well. This online study is intended for laboratorians who perform Gram stain testing in a healthcare setting.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-113T-16

 Good Laboratory Practices

Link to Online Training: Waived Testing

Online Course Director: Patty Atwood
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description: This online course is the first in a three-part series discussing waived testing. This training focuses on good laboratory practices and quality control that laboratorians should be performing in the lab each day. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss good lab practices in the pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic phases of waived testing.
  • List the factors to consider when determining whether to bring a waived test on at your facility.
  • Discuss quality control requirements and what to do when things aren’t quite right.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-161A-16

 What’s CLIA Say about Waived Testing?

Link to Online Training: Waived Testing (module 2, audio narration)

Online Course Director: Patty Atwood
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description: This online course is the second in a three-part series discussing waived testing. This training focuses on the requirements set forth by CLIA for waived testing. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Name the government agencies responsible for CLIA regulations.
  • List the types of CLIA certificates and the testing permitted with a waived certificate.
  • Discuss how to determine the complexity level of a test.
  • Review CLIA requirements for waived testing.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-161B-16

 Understanding the Package Insert

Link to Online Training: Waived Testing (module 3, audio narration)

Online Course Director: Patty Atwood
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description:  This online course is the last in a three-part series discussing waived testing. This training focuses on the package insert and importance of these documents in your facility. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss important points to consider pertaining to package inserts.
  • List the sections of a package insert.
  • Discuss differences between a package insert and a procedure.

P.A.C.E. Program Number: 196-161C-16

Training

A survey to identify training needs is conducted periodically and used to guide the development of workshops and training activities. In addition, training activities may be developed in response to specific requests from individuals and groups. Workshops are presented on clinical, environmental and management topics; they are designed to give hands-on experience with methods and techniques. Instructors are selected on the basis of competency, experience, and the ability to communicate with participants. Additions to the workshop calendar are announced as they are scheduled; periodic updates from Laboratory Improvement include all training activities.

Laboratory Improvement also works with the NLTN to provide training. The NLTN is a cooperative training agreement between the Association of Public Health Laboratories(APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of the network is to address the need for effective laboratory information and management systems and to assist state health agencies to develop, promote, and deliver quality laboratory training. The network functions as a training service delivery program that utilizes available resources and conducts regionalized training based on documented needs.

Bench training can be arranged by contacting the appropriate technical Branch in the State Laboratory, i.e. Microbiology, Virology/Serology, and Environmental Sciences.

Lab Improvement Information