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Laboratory Improvement: Laboratory Improvement Training Workshops

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 e-mail address.

2017 Training

  • Workshop Locations: All workshops are held at the State Lab of Public Health.
  • 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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 Microscopy: Viewing and Reviewing

Workshop Director: Michaela Harvey-Creech
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $20.00

Program Description: This basic level course is a prerequisite for workshops requiring the use of a microscope. Students are taught 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.

Students are encouraged to improve their microscopy skills by practicing the techniques learned in class while working with a more experienced user. The intended audiences are nurses and other nonlaboratory trained professionals whose responsibilities include microscopic work.

Please Note: Students must complete the viewing of the online Basic Microscopy course and pass the quiz with a minimum grade of 80 percent before attending the workshop.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates: Application Deadline Dates: Payment Due By:
January 11, 2017 December 20, 2016 January 4, 2017
April 12, 2017 March 12, 2017 April 5, 2017
July 12, 2017 June 12, 2017 July 5, 2017
October 18, 2017 September 18, 2017 October 11, 2017

 

 Examination of a Vaginal Wet Mount

Workshop Director: Michaela Harvey-Creech
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $20.00 

Program Description: In this basic level course, participants learn techniques that are used in the identification and reporting of elements found in vaginal wet mount preparations. The one-day 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.

Please Note: Applicants must have attended the workshop, Microscopy: Viewing & Reviewing. No exceptions will be made.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

January 12, 2017

December 20, 2016

January 5, 2017

April 13, 2017

March 13, 2017

April 6, 2017

July 13, 2017

June 13, 2017

July 6, 2017

October 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

October 12, 2017

 

 Lab Methods in the Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Workshop Director: Michaela Harvey-Creech
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.

Please Note: There are pre-requisites in order to attend this workshop. Applicants must have attended the workshop, Microscopy: Viewing and Reviewing, and completed the online self-study, Understanding the Basics: The Gram Staining Process. No exceptions will be made.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

February 15-16, 2017

January 16, 2017

February 9, 2017

September 13-14, 2017

August 14, 2017

September 7, 2017

 

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

Workshop Director: Chris Goforth
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.

Registration: Environmental Workshop Application (PDF, 20 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

February 21-23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Submit with application

July 25-27, 2017

June 27, 2017

Submit with application

November 1-3, 2017

October 3, 2017

Submit with application

 

 Process Control Chemistry

Workshop Director: David Livingston
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 20.0
NCWOA Professional Growth Hours: 20.0
Fee: $120.00 (fee includes examination)

Program Description: This intermediate level workshop provides participants with the technical skills and knowledge to perform approved chemical laboratory procedures for the analysis of drinking water. Upon completion of the course, the participant will be able to describe approved methods to test for those parameters used in process control, safety, and general laboratory practices and then apply them to the analysis of unknown samples using approved methodologies.

Registration: Environmental Workshop Application (PDF, 20 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

March 7-10, 2017

February 10, 2017

Submit with application

August 15-18, 2017

July 18, 2017

Submit with application

 

 Bioterrorism Preparedness for Clinical Laboratories - Updated 03/06/17

Workshop Director: Barbie Page, Kristi Jenkins
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 6.5
Fee: $40.00 

Program Description:This intermediate level one-day program will focus on practical methods clinical laboratorians can use to recognize the agents of bioterrorism. Participants will learn about Biosecurity and Biosafety, as well as surveillance, evaluation, and confirmatory procedures which can be integrated into the routine work of the microbiology laboratory. Procedures for referring suspect cases will also be discussed.

Laboratory presentations and demonstrations will outline the microbiology of these agents so that participants can recognize their culture, staining and biochemical characteristics. The safety implications of handling suspected organisms in clinical isolates and cultures and toxins will be emphasized. Chemical terrorism topics, as well as procedures for referring suspect cases, will be discussed.

Registration: If you are interested in attending the April 6th workshop, please call 919-807-8765.

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

April 6, 2017

March 6, 2017

March 30, 2017

September 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

September 14, 2017

December 7, 2017

November 7, 2017

November 30, 2017

 

  Evaluation of a Stat Male Smear

Workshop Director: Tiffany Perdue
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.0
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).

Please Note:There is a pre-requisite in order to attend this workshop. Applicants must have attended the workshop, Microscopy: Viewing and Reviewing. No exceptions will be made.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

June 15, 2017

May 15, 2017

June 8, 2017

November 16, 2017

October 16, 2017

November 9, 2017

 

 Policy/Procedure Writing

Workshop Director: Patty Atwood
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $20.00

Program Description: This workshop will distinguish between policies, processes, and technical procedures. Participants will learn when to use each one, and tools will be provided to enable participants to write effective documents that will establish and define appropriate laboratory practice and meet regulatory requirements. The importance of document control will also be discussed.

This workshop is performance oriented with over 50% of the participant’s time spent developing, writing, revising and checking polices, processes and procedures. Laboratory Managers and technical staff charged with developing and writing these documents should attend.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates: Application Deadline Dates: Payment Due By:
August 25, 2017 July 25, 2017 August 18, 2017

 

 2017 Packaging and Shipping Regulations

Workshop Director: Kristy Osterhout
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.0
Fee: Effective July 2015, a fee is no longer charged for this workshop.

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 function specific training for participants to demonstrate their understanding of the fundamentals necessary for classifying hazardous materials, properly labeling, marking, documenting, and the preservation of evidence and proper chain of custody for chemical terrorism specimens.

Who Should Attend: Safety professionals and persons actively involved in packing diagnostic and infectious specimens for shipment to reference labs, or diagnostic specimens that result from exposure to a chemical terrorist agent.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates: Application Deadline Dates: Payment Due By:
September 7, 2017 August 7, 2017 No fee required

 

 Practical Approach to Laboratory Quality Assessment

Workshop Directors: Regional Laboratory Improvement Consultants
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.0
Fee: $20.00

Program Description: A laboratory quality assessment (QA) program allows efficient and effective evaluation of general, pre-analytic, analytic and post-analytic activities to meet quality improvement goals. This basic level workshop contains background information through lecture and includes hands-on activities relating to QA.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to describe the components and benefits of a quality assurance process, develop useful tools for monitoring QA, identify and resolve QA problems through QA studies and corrective actions, document QA activities effectively, and function as a member of a QA team.

Who Should Attend: Any local health department personnel interested in laboratory quality assessment, including those with minimal laboratory training.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates: Application Deadline Dates: Payment Due By:
September 15, 2017 August 15, 2017 September 8, 2017

 

 Basic Clinical Microbiology - Updated 04/06/17

Workshop Director: Michaela Harvey-Creech
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 11.0
Fee: $40.00

This beginner-level workshop is designed for the non-microbiologist or beginners tasked with performing microbiology testing, as well as those who want a basic clinical microbiology refresher. The lecture portion of the class will focus on general characteristics of bacteria, culture techniques, gram staining and basic differential testing. There will be a hands-on portion for participants to practice culture and staining techniques. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to view gram stains of organisms commonly associated with bioterrorism. At the end of the course, participants will be able to describe bacterial morphology, demonstrate proper bacterial culture techniques, correctly perform and interpret Gram stains, have an awareness of common bioterrorism agents encountered in the laboratory and practice laboratory safety.

Note: Previous microscopy experience required. See application for criteria.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 327 KB)

Workshop Dates: Application Deadline Dates: Payment Due By:
May 24-25, 2017 April 25, 2017 May 18, 2017

 

Free Online Training Resources from NCSLPH

 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 Vaginal Specimen Collection and Form Training

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

Online Course Director: Mary Noel Dodd
Contact Hours: 1.0
No Fee

Program Description: This training was developed to provide instruction in the collection of vaginal 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

 Guide to Rabies Packaging and Shipping

Link to Online Training: Rabies Packaging and Shipping

Online Course Director: Peggy Brantley
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