DOT requires specimen collectors to be trained so that they can be qualified to do drug testing. You should note that when you inform an employee that they must go for a drug test, they can be apprehensive about the process and outcome. This is the reason why a specimen collector needs to know how to handle the specimen collection process.
A specimen collector should always remember and know that a drug test that is poorly collected can land them in court. This is because they need to explain and defend their action when it comes to collecting the specimen. The good news is that many organizations are offering specimen collection training programs to make sure that you understand the collection process. This article discusses DOT urine specimen collectors.
Common urine drug tests
There are a few common urine drug tests that specimen collectors need to know. One of them is the DOR drug test which is a 5-panel drug test that is consistent with the DOT regulations 49 CFR Part 40. This test includes AMP-Amphetamines, COC-Cocaine, PCP-Phencyclidine, OPI-Opioids, and THC-Marijuana.
There is also a 5-Panel DOT-like which is simply a non-DOT test that applies to non-regulated employers and it’s just like the DOT drug test. This is known as a 5 panel that has expanded opiates drug tests.
Lastly, there is a 10 Panel DOT which is a non-DOT drug test that applies to non-regulated employers. This drug test also mirrors the DOT drug test. The other five drugs included in this drug are BZO-Benzodiazepines, MTD-Methadone, BAR—Barbiturates, Meth-Methaqualone, and PPX-Propoxyphene.
Most employers usually do employment testing for their potential and current employees. You can decide to do urine drug tests at certified laboratories or testing centers.
It’s worth mentioning that urine drug testing may sometimes detect alcohol or nicotine. The testing for tobacco use can look for cotinine which the body tends to produce once it breaks down nicotine. But urine testing can be hard, so you need to attend a training course to understand the testing process.
There are many advantages of doing urine drug testing. As explained earlier, there are various options for urine drug testing. Urine drug testing is also reliable as the results can hold up in court for at least 30 years. There are also several specimen collection sites and the testing is easy and cost-effective. Specimen collectors can also offer point-of-care tests or onsite drug testing.
Specimen collection procedure
A specimen collector should always note that the collection process gives them the perfect time when a job applicant or employee can do the drug testing. Therefore, they need to understand that this is where the drug testing process begins. Ideally, it starts when the donor walks through the door to the moment the specimen collection process is done and the Custodial and Control Form (CCF) copies are submitted as required by regulation.
It’s crucial to understand that the collection associated with the workplace drug test specimen is usually a forensic process, so you need to follow all the steps properly and maintain forensic integrity.
This can be a scary moment for the employee and they can be apprehensive when they don’t know what to expect. Hence, a well-trained specimen collector tends to have good knowledge of the right way to explain the specimen collection process once the employee enters the collection site to the time the specimen collection is complete.
That said, there are a couple of important steps and things that a specimen collector needs to know. Firstly, a specimen collector needs to know how to greet a donor. They should also know the action they need to take when there is no valid photo ID card for the donor.
Most specimen collection training programs recommend that the collection must explain the collection process properly, and tell the donor that their name will be submitted to the testing lab. Also, the donor doesn’t need to provide their Social Security Number, but they can offer their employee ID number.
A specimen collector should also explain the CCF to the employee and the things that have to be done and identify that the specimen collection process will be private. A specimen collector should also make sure that the employee witnesses the whole process of sealing as well as placing labels on the specimen bottles.
Above all, the specimen collector should know what to do when the donor refuses to sign, how to document the refusal to test by the employee at the specimen collection site, and what happens when there is clear evidence of a lack of cooperation.
Another important factor a specimen collector needs to know is the timely and proper distribution of the CCF to respective parties. They need to submit this form within twenty-four hours of collecting the specimen. The responsibility of the specimen collector is to maintain the integrity of the specimen collection process. They can do this by making sure that there is the privacy of donors being tested, ensuring that the specimen is safe, and avoiding statements or conduct that can be considered to be inappropriate or offensive.
Keep in mind that urine is commonly used for drug testing. The right urine test can involve screening the urine specimen. You can then do confirmation testing using gas chromatography alongside mass spectrometry, especially if there are non-negative results. A certified Medical Review Officer needs to review and verify confirmed lab-positive results. This helps to prevent false positives from happening due to over-the-counter medications or legally prescribed medications.
In conclusion, it’s crucial to attend specimen collector courses so that you can understand how to handle the collection process. This can also help you to conduct the specimen collection process properly and with integrity. The good thing is that employers can decide to choose various options available for these training courses. You have the option of doing an onsite training course for your employees. Alternatively, employees can attend the training courses online. The good thing about online training courses is that the attendants can choose to do it when they have free time.