Certificate III in Pathology Collection
Pathology specimen collectors (Phlebotomists) are vital members of the pathology laboratory team and can work in a range of healthcare settings—from pathology collection centres through to hospitals, medical practices, and in some cases, a patient’s home or in an aged care facility.
The role requires considerable technical expertise and strong interpersonal skills. The Mater Education Certificate III in Pathology Collection course will arm you with the skills, knowledge and practical experience you need to become a pathology collector.
Key areas of learning and skills development in the course include:
- procedure for collecting blood specimens by venepuncture
- collecting pathology specimens other than blood
- procedures for handling and transporting pathology specimens
- standard additional precautions
- communicating in the workplace
- complying with infection control policies and procedures
- identifying and responding to clinical risks associated with pathology specimen collection
- quality assurance.
This qualification is approved for subsidies under the Queensland Government’s Certificate 3 Guarantee program. Certificate 3 Guarantee provides a government subsidy to allow eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school Certificate III level qualification. To be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee funded by the Queensland Government you must meet eligibility criteria. For more information on the Certificate 3 Guarantee program and eligibility criteria go to the Costs section on this page.
Mater Education wants everyone enrolled into the program to have every opportunity to succeed at their study. Our program is dynamic, and delivered in a way that caters to all learning styles.
When applications are open, you will need to complete an online application including:
1. addressing the following three criteria:
- What motivates you to pursue a career in healthcare at this time?
- Why do you think the Mater Education program would suit you?
- How do you plan to balance your life, work and full-time study commitments while undertaking the Pathology collection program?
2. details of your work history and voluntary experience
3. details of any prior education, including copies of any qualifications, statements of attainment or a transcript of completed study and/or your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education awarded for the completion of year 12.
Please note—major employers recruit staff over the age of 18. We recommend that students should be at least 17 when enrolling into this course.
Applicants that address the defined criteria as published and whose answers are clear and informative will progress to the next stage.
1. To set you up for success, we'll ask you to undergo a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) evaluation before starting the program. The LLN evaluation will give us an insight into your reading, writing and numeracy skills, and help us plan any extra support you may need to succeed in the program.
2. Applicants who display competence at or above Exit Level 2 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) across all five core skills of learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy will be invited to an interview.
Certificates and permits
Confirmation of your enrolment as a pathology student is subject to the completion of a criminal history check (Fit2Work).
You need to be immunised, or in the process of being vaccinated, for the following communicable diseases:
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Seasonal vaccinations (influenza) as required.
If you are applying for credit for your First Aid certification, your CPR currency must be up to date for the duration of the program.
Students will require access to a reliable internet connection enabling access to Mater Education’s virtual learning environment, and a computer with up-to-date software, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player.
Full Fee-paying student—$3 950
View the schedule of fees for students in 2021.
Government funding—Certificate 3 Guarantee
This qualification is approved for subsidies under the Queensland Government's Certificate 3 Guarantee program. Certificate 3 Guarantee provides a government subsidy to allow eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school Certificate III level qualification. To be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee funded by the Queensland Government you must meet the eligibility criteria, as outlined below.
Non-concessional student Co-Contribution—$1 185
Concessional student Co-Contribution—$592
Co-contribution is payable prior to commencement.
To be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee you must meet the following criteria:
- not hold or be currently enrolled in a certificate III or higher level qualification (does not include qualifications completed in secondary school)
- be 15 years or older
- have completed or left secondary school
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident residing in Queensland, or New Zealand citizen permanently residing in Queensland (including humanitarian entrants), or a temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency.
You are eligible for the concession fee if you are eligible for subsidised training, and are listed on an Australian Government Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you hold a Department of Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Concession Card, or if you have a disability.
Mater Education offers a payment plan for some Pathology Collection course fees. To pay your fees this way you’ll need to make three to five non-refundable payments—the first before the start of the course. There are no administration fees or interest charges, and no extra charges for credit card payments. Please contact us to find out about our payment plan.
Students will no longer be eligible for a government subsidised training place under the Certificate 3 Guarantee program once they complete the qualification.
As part of your enrolment you will need to buy:
- Mater Education Uniform shirt (approximately $60 - $80 per shirt)
- Closed-in black shoes
- Black business pants or knee-length black skirt (preferably with pockets)
- Criminal history check 'Fit2Work' ($29)
- Any additional vaccinations you may require
- Vocational placement at a non-Mater collection centre ($300) (limited number of places available)
This course is delivered over 15 weeks plus vocational placement. Classes are delivered through two main modes of delivery:
- Campus: Onsite at Mater Education campus (Up to two day per week*).
- Online: Theory sessions and tutorials delivered online (est. 10 hours per week).
Within these modes, a range of class styles are utilised, including classroom work, group discussions, tutorials, online videos, online sessions and practical simulation events.
- The Mater Education delivers classes between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm.
- Classes are typically between Monday to Friday.
- Students will be provided with a timetable for each term to assist in planning ahead for their training upon commencement.
View the indicative timetables and study expectations for students commencing study in:
* Please note: Adjustments to the delivery mode may occur while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. Theory sessions will move to an online delivery depending upon government restrictions and community expectations.
Mater Education is proud to offer rare scholarship opportunities for some eligible students from an Indigenous or refugee background, as well as those facing financial hardship.
Scholarships are awarded on merit, and are available to eligible students commencing in the January or July intake.
If you think you are eligible, we encourage you to apply for the course and make a clear note in your application form that you’re also applying for the scholarship (list under “other relevant information”).
Find out more about our scholarship opportunities here.
This qualification comprises 14 units in total, including 9 core units and 5 elective units.
CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in the health or community services
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.
BSBMED301 Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to understand and respond to instructions; to carry out routine tasks and communicate with a range of internal/external clients in a medical environment; as well as use appropriate medical terminology.
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work respectfully with people from diverse social and cultural groups and situations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to follow organisational infection prevention and control procedures, including implementing standard and transmission-based precautions and responding to infection risks.
HLTWHS001 Participate in Workplace health and safety
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for workers to participate in safe work practices to ensure their own health and safety, and that of others.
BSBCUS201 Deliver a service to customers
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to deliver all aspects of customer service at an introductory level. It includes creating a relationship with customers, identifying their needs, delivering services or products and processing customer feedback.
HLTPAT001 Identify and respond to clinical risks in pathology collection
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to recognise client risk factors, identify emergency situations and provide emergency or first aid response to client reactions associated with pathology specimen collection.
HLTPAT002 Perform venous blood collections
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment, and perform routine blood collections using venous blood collection.
HLTPAT004 Collect pathology specimens other than blood
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment and make routine pathology specimen collections.
HLTPAT006 Receive, prepare and dispatch pathology specimens
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to receive specimens, complete the administrative process to prepare samples for pathology testing, and dispatch specimens. This unit does not cover the dispatch of dangerous goods or the transport of specimens to external facilities.
BSBWOR202 Organise and complete daily work activities
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to seek feedback for performance improvement and use current technology appropriate to the task. It applies to individuals working under direct supervision who develop basic skills and knowledge for working in a broad range of settings.
HLTAID003 Provide first aid
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide a first aid response to a casualty. The unit applies to all workers who may be required to provide a first aid response in a range of situations, including community and workplace settings.
BSBFLM312 Contribute to team effectiveness
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to contribute to the effectiveness of the work team. It involves planning with the team to meet expected outcomes, developing team cohesion, participating in and facilitating the work team, and communicating with the management of the organisation.
BSBWOR301 Organise personal work priorities and development
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to organise own work schedules, to monitor and obtain feedback on work performance and to maintain required levels of competence.
Should you leave the course before you complete it, you’ll receive a Statement of Attainment for any units of competency you’ve successfully completed and where fees have been paid in full.
Mater Education has a dedicated Placement Coordinator who will make arrangements for your mandatory placement as part of this program. You will complete a minimum of 35 hours of workplace experience placement at the end of your course.
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