Specimen Collection in the OR Tyronne Johnson, cst, crcst S urgical steps to acquire the specimen play a critical role for the peri-operative team to determine the physician’s plan to proceed with treatment. The collection of tissue specimens is separated into three specific categories - non-invasive, invasive, and interventional. The non- invasive collection is a technique that uses medical devices near the skin but does not invade body tissue to acquire a tissue sample. The invasive procedure uses a medical device to obtain tissue by entering a body cavity or vessel and may inject a substance into the body. The interventional technique is an invasive method that also includes the use of equipment in a specialty department, for example, fluoroscopy in radiology. T H R E E P H A S E S O F S P E C I M E N C O L L E C T I O N T E S T I N G There are three testing phases in the specimen collection process. Each phase takes the specimen through the necessary stages of obtaining, Surgical technologists utilize their management skills when handling and maintain- ing tissue specimens. Consistent practice in mastering the handling and collec- tion of tissue specimens is beneficial to new, as well as seasoned, surgical tech- nologists. The patient’s diagnosis depends heavily on proper labeling, handling, and safe collection of the specimen. It’s estimated that 17% of specimen labeling defects in the operating room environment resulted in incorrect therapies, and approximately 6% of those defects resulted in adverse events. 4 Though the fre- quency of defects is not ordinarily high, a single fault can be catastrophic and should not be considered insignificant. L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S s Learn the three phases of specimen collection testing s Identify the different types of specimens obtained during surgery s Evaluate how discrepancies in tissue specimens can lead to devasting consequences s Review the standards of practice for CSTs when handling specimens s Determine what steps are needed to ensure proper specimens are collected during surgery JUNE 2021 | The Surgical Technologist | 255