Medical Courier Safety

(based on 946 customer ratings)

Dan Scungio, MT(ASCP), SLS, CQA(ASQ)
Reviewers: Rory Huschka, M.Ed., MT(ASCP); Robert Nickla, BS, M(ASCP)

This course addresses the basics of medical courier safety. It covers topics such as customer service excellence, effective communication, selection of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and use, safe handling methods used during pickup, transport, and delivery of specimens. The course also discusses various types of specimens, the impact of temperature and light on certain specimens, documentation and tracking of specimens. Safe handling and use of dry ice and how to handle a biohazardous spill are also included in this course.

Continuing Education Credits


  • Discuss the principles of customer service excellence and how they relate to successful courier employee performance.
  • Discuss the need for effective communication with supervisors, colleagues and clients.
  • Select appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and demonstrate its use.
  • Identify safe handling methods used during pickup, transport, and delivery of specimens.
  • Describe the various types of specimens collected from patients.
  • Discuss the impact of temperature and light on certain specimens.
  • Understand the importance and methods of specimen documentation and tracking.
  • Describe the safe handling and use of dry ice during specimen transport in a vehicle.
  • Identify the spill supplies necessary for specimen transport and how to properly use them.

Course Outline

  • What does a medical courier do?
      • Basic Information About Medical Couriers
  • Courier Policies and Procedures
      • Courier Policies and Procedures
      • HIPAA and Confidentiality
      • Courier Case Study - The Stolen Car
      • What mistake did the courier make that led to this unfortunate outcome?
      • The Courier Dress Code
      • Other Courier Policies
      • Which of the following is a good method for a courier to keep patient information confidential?
  • Customer Service
      • Five-Star Customer Service
      • Communication
  • Medical Specimens
      • Specimens That May be Transported
      • Specimens That May be Transported, continued
      • Documentation
      • Specimen Integrity
      • Specimen Transport Temperatures
    • Temperature Ranges for Specimens
      • Ambient or Room Temperature Specimens
      • Refrigerator Temperatures
      • Body Temperature
      • Frozen Temperatures
      • Extreme temperatures and transport conditions for lab specimens do not affect the specimen integrity or lab results. Only the laboratory is responsibl...
  • Courier Safety
      • Hand Hygiene
      • Personal Protective Equipment
      • Gloves
      • Lab Coats
      • Eye and Face Protection
      • Courier Ergonomics
      • Match the type of Personal Protective Equipment with the laboratory task for which it would be needed.
  • Safety in the Hospital or Laboratory Setting
      • Accidents and Injuries
      • Biohazards
      • Chemical Hazards
      • Fire Hazards
      • The following steps describe the proper use of a fire extinguisher. Place the steps in the correct order.
  • Safety in the Courier Vehicle
      • Safe Driving
      • Vehicle Maintenance
      • Safety Features Found in the Courier Vehicle
      • Specimen Transport Safety
      • Spills in the Vehicle
      • Dry Ice Safety
      • Courier Case Study- The Sleepy Driver
      • What errors did the courier make while preparing to pick up the frozen specimens (there is more than one correct answer)?
  • Conclusion
      • Keeping Couriers Safe
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Beginner
Intended Audience: Couriers, laboratory assistants, specimen processors, and medical laboratory personnel.
Course Description: This course covers medical courier safety including some basic laboratory safety information.
Author information: Daniel J. Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, CQA (ASQ) has over 25 years of experience as a certified Medical Technologist. He has a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst and Buffalo, New York. Dan worked as a laboratory generalist in hospitals ranging in size from 75 to 800 beds before becoming a laboratory manager. After 10 years of lab management, he became the Laboratory Safety Officer for a system of more than 10 hospitals and over 20 laboratories and draw sites in the Tidewater area of Virginia.
Reviewer information: Rory Huschka, M.Ed., MT(ASCP), has over 20 years of experience as a medical technologist, technical supervisor, professor, and manager. He is the former Director of Clinical Laboratory Technology and Medical Laboratory Technician Programs at Brookline College. He is currently a Program Director at MediaLab, Inc. Rory holds a BS degree in Medical Technology from North Dakota State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.
Reviewer Information: Rob Nickla, BS, M(ASCP), began his public health career in 2004 at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory (ASPHL) working in Mycobacteriology, Bacteriology, and Virology. While there, he became the State Training Coordinator and Bioterrorism Training Coordinator in the Bioemergency Response Section and actively participated in several APHL Special Interest Groups for Basic Microbiology, Biosafety & Biosecurity, and Select Agent Training. He served on the ASPHL Safety Committee for several years and helped develop and conduct many in-house safety related trainings. In 2012, he accepted an Associate Biosafety Officer position in the Environmental Health and Safety Department at Arizona State University (ASU). Currently, Rob is the BT (biological threat) and CT (chemical threat) LRN (Laboratory Response Network) Coordinator and State Training Coordinator with the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL).

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This course is part of:
courier 4
Examples of vehicle spill materials.
blood bag cdc_edit
Blood specimens shutterstock jb