Medical Courier Safety

(based on 666 customer ratings)

Dan Scungio, MT(ASCP), SLS, CQA(ASQ)
Reviewers: Robert Nickla, BS, M(ASCP); Stephanie S. Mihane, BS, MLS(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 the need for effective communication with customers, colleagues, and supervisors.
  • 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.
  • Describe the safe handling and use of dry ice during specimen transport in a vehicle.
  • Identify the potential hazards to include biohazards, chemical, and fire in both the hospital and vehicle setting.

Course Outline

  • Medical Courier Basic Information
      • What is a Medical Courier?
      • What Does a Medical Courier Do?
      • History of the Courier
      • A medical courier can transport each of the following items except:
  • Courier Responsibilities
      • Courier Policies and Procedures
      • Courier Dress Code
      • HIPAA and Confidentiality
      • Courier Case Study - The Stolen Car
      • What mistake did the courier make that led to this unfortunate outcome?
  • Customer Service
      • Five-Star Customer Service
      • Communication
  • Medical Specimens
      • What am I transporting?
      • Common Specimen Types Transported by Couriers
      • Documentation
      • Specimen Integrity
      • Priority Orders
      • Protect from Light
      • Match the description with the appropriate specimen status.
      • Extreme temperatures and transport conditions for lab specimens do not affect the specimen integrity or lab results. Only the laboratory is responsibl...
      • Specimen Transport Temperatures
    • Temperature Ranges for Specimens
      • Ambient or Room Temperature
      • Refrigerator Temperature
      • Body Temperature
      • Frozen Temperature
      • Importance of Correctly Transporting Specimens
  • 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
      • Specimen Transport Safety
      • Vehicle Maintenance
      • Match the unsafe driving behavior with its correct corresponding description.
      • Safety Features Found in the Courier Vehicle
      • Courier Personal Safety: Biohazardous Materials
      • Courier Personal Safety: Specimen or Chemical Spills
      • Put the steps used to clean a biological spill that occurs in a courier vehicle in the proper order.
      • Dry Ice Safety
      • Courier Case Study: The Sleepy Driver
      • What errors did the courier make while preparing to pick up the frozen specimens? (Select all that apply.)
  • 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:
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. 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).
Stephanie S. Mihane, BS, MLS(ASCP), graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Medical Technology. She has over 40 years of experience as a medical laboratory scientist. She has 5 years of experience as a Laboratory Manager for Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colorado and 15 years as a Point of Care Coordinator with a certification in Point of Care by AACC. She has provided both laboratory orientation training and competency training for providers and nursing staff of Kaiser Permanente. Stephanie has acted as a UFCW Local 7 Healthcare Union Steward for 10 years, a CAP inspector, and a former ASCLS Board of Directors member. She remains active in ASCLS.

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