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Laboratory Assistant

Salary: $13.81-$16.85 hourly / $2,401-$2,931 monthly / Range: 4596

DEFINITION: Under close supervision, performs phlebotomy duties and other routine laboratory procedures related to preparing human biological samples for microbiological, hematological, and chemical analysis; or, performs routine biological and chemical laboratory procedures related to preparing water, food, and diagnostic specimens for analysis; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in this classification perform routine laboratory procedures in the Public Health Department. Incumbents assigned to clinical laboratories perform phlebotomy duties while incumbents assigned to Public Health laboratories perform water bacteriology testing. Laboratory Assistants are distinguished from Clinical Laboratory Scientists and Public Health Microbiologists in that the latter two classifications are licensed professional classes.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES

CLINICAL LABORATORY

1. Verifies identity of patients to have blood drawn; instructs patients regarding sample collection requirements and procedures; and draws blood from patients either by venipuncture or capillary puncture for the purpose of collecting specimens to be analyzed.

PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY

1. Performs bacteriological examinations of drinking and recreational water; reads and records test results; maintains quality control records; and notifies specimen submitter of failure to pass established standards.

BOTH SPECIALTIES

2. Logs in specimens; assigns specimen accession numbers; creates labels; time stamps laboratory forms or requisitions; stores specimens for subsequent processing; and prepares specimens for transport to other laboratories.
3. Prepares primary plantings of specimens for bacteriological studies and centrifuges specimens in preparation for bacteriological and chemical testing and analysis.
4. Follows safety guidelines at all times in accordance with the Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions.
5. Learns clinical or public health laboratory terminology and procedures, as well as specimens that are required for standard procedures and analyses.
6. Responds to in-person and telephone requests from providers, patients, clinic staff, private and state laboratory personnel, and the public; determines what information can be given to the public and that which should be given only to licensed professional staff; and maintains confidentiality of records.
7. Performs laboratory-related clerical duties including filing, recordkeeping, entering data into computer database, and distributing test results to appropriate requesting sites.
8. Checks standard laboratory supplies inventory to assure adequate inventory levels and either places supply orders or notifies supervisor when orders need to be placed.
9. Cleans laboratory working surfaces and disposes of biohazardous waste in accordance with the department's waste management plan.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

CLINICAL LABORATORY

1. Possession of a valid Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certificate issued by the State of California Department of Health Services or equivalent proof of training accepted by the State of California Department of Health Services.

Knowledge of: venipuncture techniques and Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions; common laboratory equipment, methods, and procedures; fundamentals of chemistry and biology; infectious agents and diseases; metric system weights and measures; and filing and recordkeeping systems.

Ability to: perform venipuncture safely; learn laboratory and medical terminology; learn and apply specialized laboratory techniques and procedures; maintain accurate manual records and computer databases; perform basic keyboarding; learn and maintain computer competency in programs used in the department; complete work according to industry and safety protocols; follow detailed oral and written directions, precautions, and procedures; perform basic mathematical computations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers and fractions; calculate metric weights and volumes; establish and maintain effective working relationships with patients, medical staff, and the public; maintain confidentiality of patient records; and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Desirable Qualifications: One year of venipuncture experience in a medical setting.

PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY

Possession of a high school diploma (or GED) and:

1. One semester each of high school or college level biology and chemistry; or,
2. one year of laboratory aide experience in a clinical, public health, medical research, or comparable laboratory; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: common laboratory equipment, methods, and procedures; fundamentals of chemistry and biology; infectious agents and diseases; metric system weights and measures; and filing and recordkeeping systems.

Ability to: learn laboratory and medical terminology; learn and apply specialized laboratory techniques and procedures; operate and maintain laboratory equipment; maintain accurate manual records and computer databases; perform basic keyboarding; learn and maintain computer competency in programs used in the department; complete work according to industry and safety protocols; follow detailed oral and written directions, precautions, and procedures; perform basic mathematical computations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers and fractions; calculate metric weights, volumes, and concentrations of ingredients; establish and maintain effective working relationships with patients, medical staff, and the public; maintain confidentiality of patient records; and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Desirable Qualifications: One year of experience performing water bacteriology testing.

 



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