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Laboratory Assistant/Specimen Processor

Coos Bay, Oregon 97420

Job ID: 8503 Category: Health

Job Description

  • The laboratory assistant is responsible for biological (e.g. blood and urine) specimen receipt, verification, handling and processing.
  • The laboratory assistant is also responsible for facilitating the workflow by performing a variety of clerical, processing, and housekeeping duties that include inventory, filing, stocking, receiving shipments, cleaning, and rotating and maintaining inventory.
  • Some lifting is required.
  • The position requires a mature individual who is able to maintain confidentiality of all results and patient information and exercising proper precaution to avoid potential exposure to infectious/hazardous material.
  • May be required to clean specimen spills when necessary.
  • Is responsible to and receives direction from the management team.
  • Works cooperatively with all on-site laboratory staff, Medical Laboratory (MML) employees, the laboratory’s external and internal clients, students and visitors.
  • Continuously improves processes and services that support patient care, education, and research.
  • Demonstrates patient-centered and customer focus by treating patients/customers as top priority to meet or exceed needs and expectations.
  • Contributes ideas and suggestions and participates in activities that improve systems, processes, and service for patients and customers.
  • Engages in monitoring and evaluating feedback and data from patients and customers to improve service and work unit's performance.
  • Isolates and resolves problems and/or discrepancies regarding testing or patient information to establish and insure the highest quality of service is provided.
  • Fosters teamwork, personal responsibility, integrity, innovation, trust, and communication.
  • Exhibits an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of team members and recognizes individuals for their contributions.
  • Contributes to the enhancement of group effectiveness by exchanging information, collaborating with other team members, and providing constructive feedback.
  • Listens attentively to patients and customers to ensure understanding and delivery of personalized service.
  • Accepts feedback and uses it to improve service and individual and team performance.
  • Helps develop team cohesiveness by offering assistance to team members and aligns individual work efforts to meet work unit and organizational goals for service excellence.
  • Maintains a patient-centered, positive, and helpful orientation when working with individuals within and outside of the work unit.
  • Effectively manages emotions, including anger and frustration.
  • Adjusts to change in a positive and supportive manner.
  • Completes assignments on time, contributing extra effort to meet patients', customers', and colleagues' needs.
  • Adheres to high standards of personal and professional conduct.
  • Adheres to patient confidentiality.
  •  Understands the necessity for maintaining confidentiality of all sensitive oral, paper-based and electronic information and restricts the flow of such information to those who have a legitimate "need to know."
  • Conducts discussions of confidential information in appropriate settings to avoid unintentional disclosure.
  • Conducts work-related activities in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Complies with all policies, procedures, department guidelines, and applicable laws in the conduct of routine activities and the solution of problems.
  • Complies with the absence policy (excludes absences related to Family Medical Leave).
  • Performs activities in a manner that ensures a safe environment for patients, employees, and the public.
  • Independently performs accessioning and processing and pre-analytic duties.
  • Receives and organizes specimens by tracking, sorting and storing. Independently prioritizes workload.
  • Investigates and takes responsibility for proper identification of each specimen. Compares orders to paperwork and contacts appropriate personnel for discrepancies if necessary. Enters orders into the appropriate computer system ensuring proper specimen is collected for the ordered test. Accurately labels the specimen.
  • Continuously works under pressure to ensure all accessioning and processing meets the established timeline with minimal error rate.
  • Forwards testing to laboratory using appropriate transportation requirements.
  • Follows the laboratory standard operating procedures as written.
  • Performs rechecks or dilution testing as needed.
  • Evaluates appropriateness of testing based on information provided. Enters relevant specimen information into computer system. Contacts designated individual when test order seems inappropriate. Documents all contact events regarding patient information and testing.
  • Performs non-complex testing while following procedure. (e.g. sed rates, osmols)
  • Operates and performs preventive maintenance on a variety of computer systems and lab equipment.
  • Demonstrates and maintains expertise to be proficient in all computer functions and applicable equipment. (e.g. fax machine, scanners, centrifuges).
  • Able to troubleshoot independently and document when applicable. Informs appropriate personnel of issues and provide potential solutions. This involves communicating with computer support personnel, maintenance personnel, laboratory consultants, supervisors, and physicians.
  • Maintains appropriate documentation on procedure checks. This can include centrifuge maintenance, ETV operations, station cleaning, thermometer checks, daily temperature records, eye wash flushes, etc.
  • Stays up-to-date on all changes to the computer or equipment and is able to apply these changes to the day-to-day operations.
  • Performs and documents instrument maintenance and prepares equipment for calibration according to established procedures. Notifies maintenance or technical personnel for service and repair.
  • Records information in applicable quality control information databases.
  • Communicates and responds effectively and professionally.
  • Able to perform multiple tasks at one time.
  • Remains flexible to daily changes in work assignments, schedules, and shifts.
  • Independently communicates via the phone, fax or email in a professional, timely manner. Communicates effectively with ordering provider.
  • Will assume ownership for a request and follow through to completion to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Acts as an intermediary between clients, physicians and laboratory technologists in order to obtain additional specimen information that is crucial to the accuracy of test results.
  • Prepares samples and materials for shipping to reference laboratories and clients.
  • Matches documented information to correspondence and shipment, verifying information and pack contents to be shipped to appropriate site.
  • Follows all shipping regulations filling out commercial invoices, correct infectious dangerous goods.
  • Ships materials via designated transportation mode.
  • Assures compliance with all CAP, OSHA and IATA dangerous goods shipping regulations.
  • Follows Quality Systems
  • Follow the laboratory standard operating procedure as written.
  • Provide or collect data for process Control and/or Quality Indicators when applicable.
  • Report events (occurrences)
  •  Follow the Department's official process to request changes to documents.
  • Competently demonstrates independent analytic problem solving skills.
  • Consistently uses a systematic approach in solving problems through analysis of the situation and evaluation of alternative solutions; able to use reason when dealing with difficult or emotional topics.
  • Demonstrative ability to identify, analyze and solve problems in a timely manner; consults with supervisor as necessary.



  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required.
  • Previous experience or knowledge of computers, telephone operations and other office equipment desired.
  • Requires a high degree of accuracy when reading specimen labels and working with numbers to prevent mislabeling.
  • Must be able to accommodate scheduling adjustments, off-shifts, holiday, and weekend work assignments.
  • Must have the ability to pay particular attention to detail.
  • Must have demonstrated problem-solving ability.
  • Must be highly organized, able to work under pressure, and handle multiple priorities.
  • Must have strong oral communication and human relation skills.
  • Time management skills, the ability to work as a contributing team member, and proven computer skills are essential.
  • Must be able to work additional hours as directed or needed.
  • Must be adaptable and flexible in a changing environment. Must demonstrate a positive attitude toward work.
  • Knowledge of laboratory functions, medical terminology, a background in science and 1-2 years medical experience is preferred, but not required.
  • Licensure/Certification Required: None required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree strongly preferred.
  • Top 3 Skills: 1) Strong communication skills 2) Attention to detail 3) Flexibility


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