Clinical Lab Technician Job Description

Clinical Lab Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a clinical lab technician. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a clinical lab technician.

 

Who is a Clinical Lab Technician?

A clinical lab technician is a medical professional who conducts laboratory procedures designed to assist doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The lab procedures involve physical, chemical, or microscopic analyses of body fluids and tissues.  Clinical lab technicians are also called medical lab technicians, clinical lab assistants, laboratory assistants, or simply lab technicians. You’re in charge of carrying out a wide range of medical tests as a clinical laboratory technician, including blood sampling, urinalysis, and microbiological exams. These tests are typically used to determine whether certain illnesses and medical anomalies are present or not. The maintenance and sterilization of the medical tools and equipment required to carry out these tests may also fall under your responsibilities as a clinical laboratory technician. A significant portion of a clinical lab technician’s duties and responsibilities are administrative. They assist the hospital staff in maintaining records and entering data. The clinical lab technician records the outcomes of sampling and testing. Clinical lab technicians typically aid in maintaining the complete data system at their workplaces, tracking and filing incoming and outgoing lab reports. They assist in producing statistical reports regularly, in addition to documenting individual results. Successful transfusions or transplants, also aid in blood type matching between donors and recipients.

Modern technology is used every day by clinical lab technicians. To help them with specimen analysis and record keeping, they make use of advanced technologies and computers. Clinical ab technicians must maintain their diagnostic and record-keeping equipment to a very high degree for the healthcare institution to operate smoothly and for doctors to treat patients successfully. All laboratory equipment must undergo routine sterilization, maintenance, and inspection. Additionally, they must be well-versed in the technology they are employing so they can identify and report any flaws or inconsistencies. At the other end of the process, certain clinical lab technicians assist the doctor in developing or implementing whatever solution or therapy is required for the patient. Working with medications is occasionally necessary, but more often, this entails designing medical devices for the patient, such as canes, prosthetic limbs, and hearing aids. Medical professionals frequently give instructions or prescriptions to lab technicians, who subsequently endeavour to put those instructions and requirements into practice.

Clinical laboratory technicians oversee safety standards while performing tests to stop the spread of disease or infection and sample contamination. This part of the job may involve a variety of procedures, such as using appropriate disposal methods for biological and hazardous waste and disinfecting workspaces and equipment that may have come into touch with contaminated samples. A medical technology associate’s degree or certificate is typically required for employment as a clinical laboratory technician. Your clinical laboratory science certificate or associate’s degree program will give you a general understanding of the various lab specialties you can pursue. Programs that concentrate on a particular lab discipline, like phlebotomy or histotechnology, are also available if you already know what you want to accomplish. Your course will include subjects in chemistry, histology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology. Typically, your program will also incorporate clinical or professional experience. You must be meticulous when performing your duties as a clinical lab technician. You must properly maintain records of laboratory procedures and equipment, and produce reports to present to the appropriate laboratory manager if you want to succeed as a lab technician.

 

Clinical Lab Technician Job Description

Below are the clinical lab technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Clinical lab technicians are in charge of a range of duties and responsibilities such as the following:

  • Use the appropriate testing equipment to collect, receive, label, and analyze samples or substances as necessary.
  • Design and carry out laboratory tests by accepted testing practices, logging observations and analyzing results.
  • Prepare reports to present any unusual discoveries from their testing as well as the outcomes of their tests.
  • Make sure samples are correctly labelled and coded inside the laboratory and keep computer records of sample intake.
  • Keep accurate records of all experimental data and test findings in the format required.
  • Take patient samples of blood, tissue, and other physiological fluids.
  • Utilize lab apparatus such as microscopes, centrifuges, and other testing methods on patient sample samples.
  • Keep accurate patient records and document test results.
  • Order supplies and maintains order and cleanliness in the lab
  • Help in the education of new lab technicians
  • Calibrate and diagnose lab apparatus.
  • Examine the lab’s processes and output for quality.
  • Handle all test-related tools and supplies, including syringes, specimen tubes, and labels.
  • Administer tests like blood and urinalysis ones.
  • Inform patients about their test results, clarify their significance and respond to any inquiries from patients
  • Run tests in a clinic to assist doctors in the diagnosis or evaluation of a patient’s health
  • Process samples in a lab setting while adhering to the prescribed protocols and practices for each kind of test.
  • Prepare samples utilizing a variety of techniques, such as centrifugation, distillation, extraction, or electrophoresis.
  • Keep thorough records of the patient data and test outcomes for future reference.
  • Follow up on any odd findings with the doctor, and refer the patient to a specialist for extra testing.
  • Keep all chemicals, liquids, and compressed gases organized and stored by safety regulations.
  • Make sure that the lab’s safety regulations are followed at all times.
  • Keep records of your equipment and daily diaries.
  • Assist with essential technology as required.
  • Keep abreast of pertinent scientific and technological advancements.
  • Carry out and record all quality control procedures as stated in the Standard Operating Processes.
  • Carry out all laboratory tests assigned in a timely, effective, and correct manner by established policies and procedures.
  • Keep the specimens identified correctly throughout the testing procedure.
  • Follow the safety precautions when handling biologically hazardous specimens and materials.
  • Maintain, calibrate, and troubleshoot all laboratory apparatus as needed.
  • Keep the workspace tidy and organized always.
  • Restock materials as necessary
  • Assist with new hire training as required
  • Serve as a resource for other health care providers regarding laboratory testing by taking advantage of continuing education opportunities to stay current on new advancements in the area.
  • Carry out all other responsibilities as given.

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or any related discipline.
  • A valid laboratory technician license is required.
  • Demonstrated experience working as a lab technician.
  • Working experience operating laboratory equipment.
  • Ability to handle potentially dangerous substances carefully.
  • Thorough knowledge of QHSE management systems, preventative measures, and laboratory best practices.
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite and database systems.
  • Must be able to work autonomously and under pressure.
  • Excellent dexterity and eye coordination.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail and analytical skills.

 

Essential Skills

  • Attention to detail skills: Clinical lab technicians must pay close attention to detail because they handle sensitive medical information. They can use this to make sure they correctly identify test results and input accurate information into patient files. Additionally, paying attention to the smallest things might assist them to guarantee good sample handling and ongoing equipment quality.
  • Communication skills: Clinical lab technicians need good communication skills because they typically work in teams and have to interact effectively with other team members. They must be able to communicate efficiently with these teams as well because they frequently interact with patients and other medical professionals.
  • Computer skills: Clinical lab technicians use computers for the majority of their work, so they must be proficient at using them. The input of data into a database, recording of test findings, and patient information are all included in this.
  • Critical thinking skills: The capacity for critical thinking is the skill for decision-making and problem-solving. Making decisions on patient care, such as when to call a doctor or an ambulance, may be needed of you as a clinical lab technician. You might also need to find solutions to issues with lab tools or sample collection.
  • Patient safety skills: Because they operate in a medical setting where patients rely on them to protect the privacy of their health information and assure the accuracy of the tests they administer, clinical laboratory technicians must possess a strong understanding of patient safety. Clinical lab technicians must be careful while handling samples, obey hospital or clinic safety regulations, and keep their workspace clean.
  • Organizational skills: You might have to handle several samples at once in your capacity as a clinical lab technician. To make sure you can keep track of all the samples you’re working with, this takes great organizing skills. Additionally, you might be in charge of keeping track of your test findings, which calls for good organizational skills to make sure you can locate the data when you need them.
  • Documentation skills: This skill has to do with the ability to record and track information. This can involve keeping track of training and other professional development activities, documenting changes in patient conditions or treatment plans, and recording test results. Clinical laboratory technicians should have strong documentation abilities since they enable them to maintain correct records that may be examined by medical professionals, patients, and regulatory bodies.
  • Interpersonal skills: Clinical laboratory technologists need to be able to interact with people from all walks of life and establish rapport. You might have to give patients or clients an understandable explanation of test results. When working in a lab team, having interpersonal skills can also be beneficial. You may need to assign jobs to your coworkers as a clinical laboratory technician or seek assistance if you’re having trouble with a task.

 

How to Become a Clinical Lab Technician

Step 1. Earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Getting an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology is the first requirement to working as a clinical laboratory technician. These courses normally last two years and cover topics such as clinical laboratory techniques, haematology, serology, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. Additionally, students receive practical instruction in labs where they practice performing tests on blood and other physiological fluids. One-year certifications in medical laboratory technology are offered by some schools. However, this program might not offer the same quality of education or training as associate degree programs.

Step 2. Go for a clinical internship

Only those who have completed a clinical internship are eligible to take the ASCP certification exam. In a supervised, full-time role in a medical laboratory, clinical internships allow students to put the knowledge and abilities they acquire in class to use in actual work settings. Clinical laboratory technologists get practical experience dealing with patients and lab specimens while being supervised by seasoned experts during a clinical internship. Additionally, they receive coaching from their managers to help them get ready for the national certification exam.

Step 3. Pass the national certification exam

You can sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s national certification exam after completing your clinical internship. The topics covered in this exam include haematology, immunohematology, microbiology, medical ethics, specimen collection and handling, laboratory management and quality assurance. You can become a qualified medical laboratory technician after passing this exam (CMLT). Every two years, you must renew your certification by completing at least 40 hours of continuing education coursework in topics including molecular diagnostics, medical legislation, and blood banking.

Step 4. Obtain state licensure

You might be required to obtain a clinical laboratory technician license depending on the state in which you work. These licenses are normally gained by finishing an approved curriculum and passing a test that covers subjects including safety and ethics, quality assurance, laboratory management, and medical laboratory technology standards of practice. Depending on how long it takes you to pass your exam, the licensing procedure may take several months to complete.

Step 5. Acquire work experience

You can start applying for laboratory technician roles once you have completed the certification exam and, if necessary, earned the necessary state licensure. Before going into the field full-time, it is beneficial to obtain experience in a clinical laboratory setting. You can expand your professional network and find jobs that match your interests and skill set by gaining direct work experience. You can hone your skills and get accustomed to working in a lab setting by working as an entry-level medical laboratory technician. Continue taking classes or attending workshops if you want to further develop your skills and information base. The majority of clinical lab technicians’ training is acquired on the job. Before moving up to a position as a clinical lab technician, they might work as a lab technician for a few years. Additionally, they might take part in the military or attend a technical college.

 

Where to Work as a Clinical Lab Technician

Clinical lab technicians work in a range of places such as clinical, diagnostic or hospital laboratories. They work in private physician offices, public health clinics, or research laboratories. They may also be employed in blood banks, clinical chemistry laboratories, haematology laboratories, immunology laboratories, and microbiology laboratories. They typically work under the supervision of physicians, laboratory technologists or laboratory managers. Clinical laboratory technicians work the standard working hours, but some positions may require them to work extra time, especially if it’s in larger facilities. Many clinical lab technicians work in shifts, which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may also be on call, which may require them to work at odd hours with little or no notice.

 

Clinical Lab Technician Salary Scale

Clinical laboratory technicians’ salaries vary depending on some factors such as their level of education, years of experience, additional qualifications, skill set, company size, and geographic location. $53,174 is the average amount clinical lab technicians earn in the US per year, with the range usually falling from $46,800 to $76,743 per year. In the UK, the average sum these technicians are paid is £24,500 per year, with the pay scale falling between £22,000 and £30,277 per year. The average salary they make in Canada is about $68,939 per year, but the salary starts from about $60,967 to $81,651per year. In Nigeria, the salary scale typically ranges from 1, 235,000 NGN to 5,200,00 NGN, but 2,410,000 NGN is the average per year.

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