What Is a Specimen Collector?

A specimen collector, also known as a drug testing collector, is a trained individual responsible for performing drug testing and collecting samples from individuals. The specimen could be urine, hair, saliva, or even blood, though urine is the most commonly used sample for drug testing because it is relegated by the DOT under 49 CFR Part 40. However, the most popular drug testing method may change now that regulations allow for DOT Oral Fluid drug testing.

The role of a specimen collector is not just limited to the actual collection. Here's a brief overview of a collector's duties:

  1. Preparing for the Collection: This involves setting up the collection site, ensuring all necessary supplies are available, and preparing all necessary documentation.

  2. Verifying the Identity of the Individual: Before the collection process begins, the specimen collector must verify the identity of the tested individual. This is crucial to ensure the integrity of the testing process.

  3. Explaining the Collection Process: The collector explains the collection process to the individual being tested to ensure they understand the procedure and their rights.

  4. Collecting the Specimen (sample): The collector will provide the individual with the necessary materials and instruct them on collecting the sample. A urine drug test, for example, would typically involve the individual going into a private restroom and providing a urine sample in a collection container.

  5. Maintaining Chain of Custody: The collector is responsible for maintaining the chain of custody, which is documenting the handling and storage of the sample from when it's collected until it's disposed of. This is crucial for ensuring the sample's integrity and the test results accuracy.

  6. Shipping the Sample: Once the sample has been collected and sealed, the specimen collector prepares it for shipment to the laboratory, where it will be tested. The collector must follow specific procedures to ensure the sample is shipped safely and securely.

It's important to note that a specimen collector should be properly trained to perform these duties professionally, respectfully, and legally. Proper training helps ensure the testing process's integrity and respects the rights and dignity of the individuals being tested.

  • Answered by:
  • Published: 02/09/2023
  • Updated: 06/23/2023
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