There are a variety of professionals who work in the healthcare field. Each is responsible for carrying out a defined set of duties. Some of these professionals see us face-to-face when we aren’t feeling well, others are working behind the scenes, and there are some who do both! Medical Lab Assistants are healthcare workers who can be found working both on the frontlines and behind the scenes. You may be wondering though, “What do Medical Lab Assistants do? Well, we’re glad you asked!
Medical Lab Assistants are healthcare professionals that fulfill a variety of duties. They typically work in lab settings, such as those within a hospital, physician’s office and perhaps even an urgent care facility. The work they do is important for both patients but also the healthcare field overall. Continue reading below as we answer the question, “what do Medical Lab Assistants do” in more detail.
Medical Lab Assistant Duties
As we begin to answer the question of “what do Medical Lab Assistants do,” let’s start by breaking down some of the duties they may perform. Medical Lab Assistant duties can be varied. We have captured some of the most frequent Medical Lab Assistant duties that one may encounter in the workplace. These may include:
- Drawing blood from patients (also called phlebotomy)
- Obtaining tissue or other specimen samples from patients for lab tests
- Properly labeling and handling samples ahead of lab tests
- Preparing lab equipment for tests and research
- Compile and report on data collected in the lab
- Use various pieces of lab equipment such as microscopes
- Maintain equipment within the lab
- Clean and sterilize lab rooms and equipment in the lab
- Perform lab tests
- Report test results to doctors’ or other healthcare personnel
As you can see from above, when we look at this list of Medical Lab Assistant duties, there is work they will do directly with patients as well as tasks completed behind the scenes. Both are critically important to the medical field and laboratory science. This is because they play an important role in helping lab tests get processed. While we have covered many of the typical Medical Lab Assistant duties, these healthcare professionals also have several responsibilities. We’re going to touch on those next.
Medical Lab Assistant Responsibilities
In addition to the Medical Lab Assistant duties above, these healthcare professionals also have a variety of responsibilities associated with their role. These Medical Lab Assistant responsibilities help give a comprehensive answer to the question, “what does a Medical Lab Assistant do?” So, let’s dive into some of these common Medical Lab Assistant responsibilities in more detail:
- Preserving patient privacy: Medical Lab Assistants are responsible for maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality under HIPAA and other guidelines.
- Accuracy: Medical Lab Assistants must be accurate in the work they do. Careless errors could result in lab tests being delayed, or worse, an inconclusive (or incorrect) result.
- Attention to detail and quality assurance: Similar to above, Medical Lab Assistants must have keen attention to detail and a commitment to quality. The work they perform is precise and requires the utmost of care. As a result, attention to detail and quality cannot be compromised.
- Infection control: Since Medical Lab Assistants work with blood, tissue, and other specimen samples from patients, it is critical that they practice good infection control measures. This is paramount for the safety of the patient, the Medical Lab Assistant, and other lab personnel.
- Communication skills: Medical Lab Assistants may interact with a variety of people daily. As a result, it is important for them to have good communication skills.
We hope that the Medical Lab Assistant responsibilities and the Medical Lab Assistant duties referenced above have helped you answer the question, “What does a Medical Lab Assistant do?” If you think this could be a career path you want to pursue, a good next step is looking at your options for Medical Lab Assistant training.
The hybrid Medical Laboratory Assistant diploma program at Dorsey College is designed to introduce students to the specialized skills needed to pursue entry-level employment in this area of healthcare. As part of their training, students can develop a variety of skills. These include performing phlebotomy, processing laboratory tests, and operating laboratory equipment. The Dorsey College program is designed to provide students with the clinical and professional skills they need to work as an efficient and confident Medical Laboratory Assistant. The Dorsey College program also offers clinical training, which exposes students to real-life situations where they can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom. Those who successfully complete the Medical Laboratory Assistant program at Dorsey College may go on to challenge a national certification exam.
Are you ready to begin your Medical Lab Assistant training? If so, contact Dorsey College today to learn more about the Medical Laboratory Assistant program!