GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
The MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST performs a variety of standard
and complex chemical, microscopic, immunological, bacteriological, hematological, serological, virological, cytological,
toxicological, and microbiological tests and analyses at a professional level, to provide data used in the diagnosis,
evaluation and treatment of human and animal illnesses and diseases. Tests performed by employees at this level
are often characterized by a lack of well defined procedures for detecting errors and are often performed without
completely defined instructions, requiring employee to use a high degree of technical judgment and decision making
to determine the most appropriate method for performing test. The Medical Laboratory Technologist provides technical
interpretation of test results to physicians, veterinarians, or other professional health care personnel.
This is a single classification and not currently part of a series
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Laboratory Testing.
Typical tasks: collects specimens for testing and checks for proper labeling (this may include collecting appropriate
specimen for testing from patients); assesses quality and appropriateness of specimen with regard to test requested;
assigns accession number to specimen and requisition slip; prepares specimen for analysis by diluting, filtrating,
staining, or centrifuging; prepares necessary equipment and organizes supplies and reagents; runs quality control
samples with known values to determine if test system is within acceptable limits; performs chemical, microbiological,
immunological, serological, bacteriological, hematological, toxicological, microbiological, virological, and microscopic
tests using a variety of both standard and complicated laboratory instruments and equipment; when necessary, performs
calculations in order to achieve test results; evaluates tests for accuracy (tests are often characterized by a
lack of well-defined procedures for detecting errors, which requires correlation of test results with results of
other tests in order to determine accuracy); determines clinical significance of test results and notifies doctor
immediately of abnormal test results or problems; enters test results into computer and reports results on requisition
sheet; obtains computer printout of completed work to determine if all test values were entered correctly and all
assigned work was completed; plots test control data onto graphs; interprets test results to physicians and others
when requested; responds to inquiries regarding questions concerning test results.
- Materials Preparation.
Typical tasks: weighs out chemicals and prepares reagents and other media in advance of time needed; reconstitutes
materials used for quality control; performs quality control checks on all newly prepared reagents and media.
- Equipment Quality Control and Maintenance. Typical tasks: calibrates laboratory equipment on a regular basis; runs
quality control checks on calibrated equipment by checking test results against known standards to determine accuracy
of results; cleans and makes minor repairs to equipment such as lubricating fittings, cleaning electrodes, flushing
out lines and tubing and replacing worn out tubing, fittings, batteries and fuses; records all actions taken in
a maintenance record book.
Typical tasks: explains laboratory test procedures, principles and theories to students,trainees and staff; demonstrates
instrument set-up, calibration and maintenance; evaluates results of their practice tests.
Typical tasks: attends continuing education seminars and reads related journals, periodicals and magazines to keep
up-to-date on the most current laboratory procedures and technology; may test and implement new procedures; may
attend continuing education courses as required by some accrediting agencies.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Employees in this class are in contact, in person and by telephone,
on a regular basis with physicians and nurses to report test results, inquire about additional tests, notify regarding
unsatisfactory specimens, and respond to questions regarding laboratory tests or results. Employees in this class
have occasional in-person contact with students and trainees to train them in medical laboratory procedures and
with stockroom personnel to order supplies.
Employees in this class work under the general supervision of
a medical laboratory supervisor or other professional superior. Special projects and assignments to specific laboratory
areas are assigned by supervisor. Daily work assignments are received from requisition slips where doctors have
requested specific tests. Employees at this level work independently with patient reports being reviewed for clerical
accuracy and conformance to policies, and quality control reports being reviewed to assure media, reagents and
equipment functioning are within acceptable limits.
The College of American Pathologists accreditation regulations,
Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations, National Committee of Clinical Laboratory standards, and State Health
Division regulations set the standards for the types of laboratory tests that can be done and how they are to be
performed. These standards are used as the basis for agency laboratory policies and procedures. Laboratory manuals
show normal values for various tests, indicate what quality control checks to run, and outline procedures for performing
the tests. Equipment manuals are used as guidelines in the operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of instruments
Positions in this class are primarily found in hospitals and
health institutions. They require the willingness to work in the environment associated with the position's location
- a Bachelor's degree in
Medical Technology; OR
- a Bachelor's degree in
Chemical or Microbiology plus one year of experience in a clinical
laboratory performing a variety of standard testing and examination
procedures under general supervision in support of professional medical
laboratory personnel; OR
- two years of experience
equivalent to a Medical Laboratory Technician 2 in a clinical laboratory
performing a variety of standard testing and examination procedures under
general supervision in support of professional medical laboratory personnel.