This operating process describes how to collect samples that are intended for microbiological tests within the laboratory. It includes all the biological samples treated by the lab (other than urine, which is described in the previous chapter).
The conditions are described in the “Recommendations” chapter
The insertion of the speculum requires trust from the patient, who should be informed of the simplicity of the test and of its purpose. The speculum size is chosen based on the age and parity of the woman.
– Choose swabs and sterile saline tubes; identify them as vaginal and cervix on the labels of the sample sheet.
– Spread an exam drape on the gynecological table.
– Place the patient in the lithotomy position.
– Light the area with the exam lamp.
– Put on gloves.
– Insert a sterile speculum in the vagina so that the cervix is visible.
– Take a sample of secretions with a swab from the posterior vaginal fornix.
– Clean the exocervix with a second swab, which will then be discarded.
– Take a sample from the endocervix with a new swab, using small 360° rotations.
– If investigations for Chlamydia and/or mycoplasma are to be done, perform the sampling with a Dacron or aluminum swab by scraping the maximum number of cells from the endocervix.
– Remove the speculum.
– Apply a pH paper to the secretions on the speculum and record the pH on the bench worksheet.
– Fill in the “macroscopic exam” portion of the bench worksheet. Record the operator number, the date and the time of the sampling, as well as any other useful information.
– After letting the patient leave, throw the exam drape in the trash for non-contaminated objects.
– Bring the sample and the bench worksheet to the triage area or the laboratory.
NB: For the Chlamydia test, insert a swab intended for this purpose in a transport medium.