There are several practices to train nurses in point-of-care testing (POCT). However, to date, very few investigations have been published on the effect of training on quality. Our hospital laboratory developed an interactive 2-step training and management strategy for training nurses to do POCT. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of training on the quality of blood glucose POCT performed by nurses in the university hospital and primary health care units.
We studied the performance of trained and untrained nurses at glucose POCT in external quality assessment schemes in 2010 and in 2011. The nurses’ performance was compared to that of biomedical laboratory scientists and other participants of the external quality assessment scheme who used Ascensia Contour and Contour glucometers.
Participants who used Ascensia Contour glucometers achieved better precision than those who used Contour glucometers. The coefficient of variation of the results obtained by the nurses who used Contour glucometers improved after training in all study groups from at most 7.4% to 3.5%. The recommended analytical quality was obtained with both glucometers.
The proposed interactive 2-step training strategy was shown to be a practical tool for improving the analytical quality of blood glucose testing performed by nurses. It requires only a reasonable investment of laboratory resources. Nurses who used Contour glucometers had a higher coefficient of variation than those who used Ascensia Contour glucometers, but training significantly improved the analytical quality obtained with this glucometer.