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How to become a pathology collector and start your career in healthcare

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Holmesglen graduate Jennifer Jenkins’s love of helping others directed her towards a career as a pathology collector.

The HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection gave Jennifer the skills and a pathway into employment after studying the course full time at our Moorabbin campus.

“I look back on my course very fondly; it was a great experience. The teachers were also very passionate,” says Jennifer.

How can I become a pathology collector?

Holmesglen offers the HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection as a five-month course. It is suitable for people looking work as a pathology collector or assistant, specimen collector or pathology team leader.

What does a pathology collector do?

Pathology collectors work in a range of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics and private facilities. Some even complete at home visits.

“There is so much more to pathology than just putting a needle in someone’s arm,” says Jennifer. “There are a variety of things you go do. You’re not just stuck in the one place.”

Professionals complete various tasks in their daily work. The HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection prepares students to undertake:

  • phlebotomy (blood collection)
  • infection control
  • electrocardiograms (ECG)
  • first aid
  • customer service.

In addition to these roles, Jennifer also takes patient swabs, handles Holter monitors (a portable device that tracks a patient’s heart rhythm) and works as part of a team that undertakes urine and drug screens.

“Because of the high-quality training, I remember everything I was taught," says Jennifer.

“When you’re in the workplace, you certainly understand why you need all that knowledge.”

What qualities make a good pathology collector?

A pathology collector needs technical and ‘soft’ skills to work successfully.

“You meet a wide variety of people. That’s one of the reasons I chose pathology: so I could interact with people.”

Jennifer says pathology collectors should:

  • treat people how they’d like to be treated
  • make good first impressions – be clean, neat and well groomed
  • respect and maintain confidentiality
  • provide good customer service to pathology clients.

What are the study and career pathways?

Some students use the pathology collection course as a pathway into further study or related healthcare careers.

Pathology collection students learn about blood collection, first aid and medical terminology, which have relevance in a range of similar healthcare roles.

Holmesglen students learn in our pathology and biotechnology training facilities. As students engage and become familiar with these settings, some may choose to also explore laboratory techniques studies or even look at a nursing or allied health course.

Find out more about the pathology and laboratory tech courses and how to apply.
Find out more


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All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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