Lab processors process biological specimens and information from a patient once the specimen arrives at a lab. Lab processors are also known as specimen processors, laboratory aides, phlebotomy technicians or clinical laboratory technicians. If you are engrossed in finding out about the typical duties of a lab processor, read on.
As a lab processor, you will typically work in a clinical laboratory setting in a hospital or other health care facility. You will usually work full time and may even work evenings, nights, and weekends to meet patients’ needs. You will also follow required safety procedures when working with specimens to prevent the spread of possible infections.
You will receive, process, unload, and unpack specimens for testing in the appropriate laboratory departments on a typical day. As a processor, you will determine if samples meet laboratory standards. This determination may include checking a specimen’s information for accuracy, entering the data into the computer, and ensuring the right department receives the specimen.You will document any quality issues, and you will see to proper disposal of laboratory specimens. As a lab processor, you will also inform nursing, phlebotomy, and medical staff about unsuitable samples and inappropriate collection.
Preparing patient records is another responsibility. Processors must accurately document relevant patient information. This data will include names, ages, doctors, addresses, and the names of the tests. You might pull patient records for technicians if required.
Laboratory upkeep is another responsibility of a lab processor. Maintenance may include managing lab inventory, preparing and cleaning lab instruments, ensuring all work areas are clean and performing clerical duties.
To become a lab processor, you will typically need a postsecondary certificate or associate degree. If you are interested in bringing your career further as a phlebotomist or a clinical laboratory technologist, you will need a bachelor’s degree with coursework in phlebotomy. With the proper coursework, you can sit for the Registered phlebotomy technician (RPT) Exam. This coursework in phlebotomy and specimen processing will include specimen processing, medical terminology and clinical phlebotomy. The RPT exam requires graduation from a phlebotomy program with 120 didactic clock hours or 1,040 work experience hours as a phlebotomy technician.
You will need to know methods such as the sterile technique—knowledge of processing specimens per infection control instructions. Of course, you will want to be familiar with medical terminology. The job requires proficiency in executing various tasks while simultaneously performing computer-based work.
Lab processors make a median hourly wage of $13.94 or a median annual salary of $35,153. These salaries vary by factors such as employer, specific skill sets, location and experience level. The job outlook for lab processors will increase by 11% through 2028. The growth is much faster than the national average and is most likely due to the increasing need for diagnostic procedures.
If you are a health care professional, check out the openings available at CnStaffing. The recruiters at CnStaffing can help you whether you are fresh out of school or a seasoned professional.