Enhancing specimen collection skills for dried blood spots through an immersive virtual learning environment: A cross-sectional study

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Objective: The quality of dried blood spot (DBS) specimens impacts newborn screening (NBS) results, hence proper training is crucial for DBS specimen collection. To address this, a training module for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and nurses was created on Moodle, a virtual learning environment (VLE). The purpose of this research was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of this module.
Methodology: Participants were trained on-site (March to December 2019), through online training sessions (January to June 2020), and the two training strategies were compared. Data analysis included the total number of participants, cost-effectiveness, trainer engagement, and the number of unacceptable samples collected by nurses/AHPs trained by the two strategies.
Results: A total of 55 nurses/AHPs were trained on-site, while 79 nurses/AHPs completed the online module and received certificates through online VLE-based training. The trainer engagement and cost were more for onsite training. After online training, the specimen rejection rate was reduced from 0.84% (44 rejected out of 5220 total specimens collected) to 0.38% (15/3920).
Conclusions: This study shows that using VLE-based DBS specimen collection training is feasible and effective for training nurses and AHPs.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Research Notes