Laboratory Assistant

Southeast Alaska, Petersburg

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Position Description

The Laboratory Assistant performs a wide variety of tasks in all areas of the clinical laboratory to include phlebotomy, which is the collection of blood specimens for clinical laboratory testing. The Laboratory Assistant will interact with patients, laboratory personnel, admissions clerk, nurses, and physicians on a daily basis.


Minimum qualifications are graduation from high school, with some previous healthcare experience being helpful. There is no license required for performing the duties as described below and most tasks are learned on the job. Therefore, proficiency must be demonstrated before a lab assistant can perform most duties without direct supervision.


1. Safety: Because specimens and laboratory work surfaces may be contaminated with infectious diseases including HIV, Hepatitis and other blood borne pathogens, the Laboratory Assistant will be trained on the proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and understand the proper way to handle the wide variety of samples and supplies in the laboratory.

2. Confidentiality: the Laboratory Assistant will receive training about the the sensitive nature of information passing through this department and the hospital.  All information will be held at the strictest confidence and will only be discussed on the basis of need in the performance of the duties of the job.

3. Phlebotomy: Phlebotomists collect blood and other clinical specimens, and process samples for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in a CLIA laboratory.  Because of the variety of tests available, there are a number of specific specimen collection procedures that must be followed. The phlebotomist must be able to differentiate between similar test orders with different collection requirements and recognize when a collection process may impact the test result, (pre-analytical variables).

4. Communication skills: The Laboratory Assistant will interact not only with patients, but also with laboratory staff, physicians, nurses and registration personnel. The Laboratory Assistant must demonstrate:
  • Superior customer service skills, excellent communication skills, good computer skills and use basic office equipment.
  • Ability to be a team player with effective interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to remain focused and productive in stressful situations, ability to deal effectively and diplomatically with frustrated patients, families, staff, co-workers and providers.
  • Ability to instruct patients in the professional and sensitive manner to properly collect non-blood samples.  (e.g., clean catch midstream urine, stool, etc.)
  • Excellent documentation skills, highly detailed orientated, and ability to multitask and manage time effectively.
5. Blood Bank inventory management:
  • Maintain stock of ice cubes for shipping blood products.
  • Receive blood products from airport
  • Pack up returning units to Blood Bank of Alaska
6. Specimen Processing:
  • Understand specimen requirements for commonly ordered laboratory tests and know where to locate instructions for less frequently ordered tests.
  • Collect specimens and process appropriately for accurate testing, with an awareness of the impact of pre-analytical variables on test outcome.
  • Notify testing personnel of the specific circumstances (STAT, fax requests, etc.)
  • Package specimens for shipment to reference labs in accordance with regulations.
  • Maintain inventory of reference lab specimen containers, shipping supplies and forms. (Quest, State Lab and Pathology, etc.)
7. Manage Employee Safety (Drug Screen collection) files:
  • Become certified to perform Breath Alcohol Tests and Urine Drug (DOT and non-DOT) collections.
  • Maintain files on all accounts for NIDA and Non- NIDA drug screen collections.
  • Inventory supplies and reorder as indicated,
  • Collect, process and ship samples for drug screen testing and assure the integrity of samples submitted for testing by following guidelines established by the Department of Transportation.
8. Administer and read PPD tests and monitor adequacy and dating of supplies for PPD's.

9. Perform EKG testing on out-patients.  Process final reports that are received.  Maintain adequate inventory of supplies.

10. Clinical:
  • Develop proficiency in the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) system and Laboratory Information System.
  • Verify insurance coverage/medical necessity of laboratory tests by accessing a web based system.
  • Understanding of basic functions of Microsoft Word and Excel programs.
  • File lab reports, distribute by mail and fax.
  • Maintain inventory of laboratory forms.
  • Answer phones.
  • Other clerical duties as assigned,
11. Housekeeping to include:
  • Stock Laboratory work areas.
  • Dispose of biohazardous waste.
  • Clean laboratory glassware.
  • Stock bleach bottles daily.
  • Perform some periodic maintenance (eyewash, shower etc.).
  • Stock phlebotomy trays, carts and EKG cart.
  • Prepare collection kits as needed for Clinic and ER.
  • Process incoming supplies, stock by rotation of oldest first and reconcile packing slips with purchase orders. 
  • Inspect supplies for expiration dates.
  • Ensure all reference lab collection supplies are adequately stocked and in long dating.
  • Other housekeeping duties as assigned.

The Laboratory Assistant will perform other duties as requested by laboratory staff/laboratory director.

Type: Full-time
Expires: 02/29/2024