A clinical lab assistant works in a laboratory setting and assists technologists, laboratory scientists, nurses, and other health care professionals with lab-related work. The exact job duties a person in this field has may depend on where he is employed. In most cases, however, a clinical lab assistant is responsible for performing a variety of laboratory tests and recording the results he obtains. A person in this field may also have the job of cleaning laboratory equipment, preparing it for use, and handling lab equipment inventory tasks. In some cases, a clinical lab assistant may also draw blood and have responsibility for providing information about test results to others in the medical field.
An individual who becomes a clinical lab assistant may have a range of duties to perform. For example, he’s often charged with collecting specimens and then proceeding with tests as instructed by a supervisor. Many clinical lab assistants perform routine laboratory tests, including those that involve drawing and testing blood. Some may perform specialized laboratory tests as well. Often, a clinical lab assistant is also responsible for administrative work, which may include recording results and other data for use by doctors, nurses, and other medical or laboratory professionals.
Typically, a clinical lab assistant performs his duties under the supervision of another person in the field. For example, he may carry out his job duties under the supervision of a nurse, technologist, laboratory scientist, or other health care or lab professional. Often, a person in this field works as a member of a health care or lab team and may need to communicate well not only with his direct supervisor, but also with other medical or laboratory staff members.
The educational and training requirements a person has to meet to become a clinical lab assistant may vary, depending on the jurisdiction in which he works and his employer's unique requirements. In some cases, a person may find employment in this field after securing a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) credential. In other cases, however, employers may prefer to hire clinical laboratory assistants who’ve earned associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in medical technology, laboratory science, or a related field. In some jurisdictions, a person who wants to pursue this job must also secure licensing or certification. Obtaining a license or certification in this field usually requires an aspiring clinical laboratory assistant to meet jurisdiction-specific requirements, pay a fee, and pass an exam.