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The Medical Laboratory Scientist reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.
A Medical Laboratory Scientist performs test procedures in a clinical laboratory and conveys the results to the physician or designee in an accurate and timely manner for the purpose of patient diagnosis and treatment
- Technical responsibilities:
- Performs all aspects of pre-analytic workflow appropriate for the specific laboratory section to ensure orders are entered correctly, specimens collected are appropriate for the test ordered and are correctly processed/transported.
- Verifies order where necessary
- Verifies non-patient information (e.g., collection time) according to established protocol.
- Handles unresolved orders, troubleshoots where needed.
- Verifies with physicians and/or nurses prior to laboratory information system (LIS) order entry to resolve unclear, duplicate or otherwise ambiguous orders.
- Verifies specimens for add-on tests are available and acceptable and generates add-on test orders.
- Recognizes when fraud and abuse compliance issues require adjustments to the test order
- Collecting, receiving and processing of specimens:
- Verifies specimens are correctly and completely labeled upon receipt. Evaluates specimens for appropriateness and takes necessary corrective action. Appropriately documents unacceptable specimens and proper notifications as needed.
- Prioritizes specimen processing based on established priorities.
- Aliquots specimens according to established protocols.
- Performs all aspects of analytical testing appropriate for the specific laboratory section, following established written protocols and standard operating procedures (SOP)
- Maintains test system integrity:
- Performs preventive maintenance on instruments/equipment in a timely fashion according to defined schedule.
- Verifies reagents and supplies meet defined acceptability criteria upon receipt and prior to use; takes action to ensure unacceptable items are removed from use.
- Ensures that sufficient reagents and supplies necessary for test performance are available. Notifies senior staff when minimum inventory level is encountered.
- Performs and records all necessary quality control (QC) required for test system performance.
- Evaluates QC results and takes necessary corrective actions according to established protocol.
- Performs specimen preparation:
- Performs any necessary pretest specimen preparation according to protocols (e.g., microbiology plating, cell cultures, filtering, extraction, separation, elution, absorption, etc.)
- Transfers or ships specimens to approved testing locations according to SOPs
- Performs tests:
- Prioritizes testing based on assignment or established priorities, completes testing within defined turn-around-times (TAT).
- Recognizes the need for and follows any age-specific protocols
- Responds effectively to changes in the workflow by coordinating a simultaneous series of tests when needed or adjusting work to incorporate STAT tests or fluctuations in work volume.
- Monitors daily workflow and priorities to assure meeting service levels.
- Performs technical review and interpretation:
- Reviews results for completeness, correctness, and consistency within defined test system
- Evaluates test results/reactions and provides accurate interpretations as appropriate to include correlation with, and integration of, other patient data as necessary.
- Performs visual interpretation/identifications as appropriate.
- Recognizes unusual test results/interpretations and completes indicated reflex testing or other follow-up actions.
- Follows established notification protocols for critical values, phone/fax/e-mail results requests, abnormalities.
- Troubleshoots and solves problems:
- Recognizes test system performance problems and takes necessary corrective actions
- Recognizes when unresolved problems need to be escalated and takes necessary follow-up action.
- Prints pending logs and follows-up to ensure pending tests are completed or cancelled when appropriate.
- Post-test specimen storage:
- Stores specimens and related materials (blood, slides, tissues, etc.) according to protocols for location and duration.
- Retrieves specimen and related materials when needed
- Post-analytical responsibilities:
- Performs all aspects of the post-analytical workflow appropriate for the specific laboratory section to ensure accurate results are reported within established time frames, specimens are retained appropriately, test results and/or current status are available upon inquiry, and billed charges are correct for testing performed.
- Verifies and reports results:
- Verifies results according to procedure.
- Performs computer functions necessary for releasing results.
- Generates written reports according to established protocol.
- Reviews electronic or printed reports when applicable, recognizes problems and escalates according to protocol.
- Amends reports:
- Corrects erroneous reports and amends reports according to procedure
- Responds to inquiries:
- Responds to requests for information according to established protocol for confidentiality and release of information
- Recognizes when unresolved inquiries need to be escalated and takes action
- Stores documents and records:
- Stores documents and records according to established protocol.
- Charge capture/billing:
- Performs billing and/or enter credits for tests and services when applicable.
- Recognizes billing problems and escalates accordingly
- Universal responsibilities:
- Ensures quality of operations:
- Follows written standard operating procedures (SOP).
- Operates instruments/equipment according to protocol.
- Uses computers according to established protocol; follows downtime procedures as required.
- Performs required quality system responsibilities
- Meets proficiency and competency standards of the department.
- Participates in the training of new employees and students
- Performs operational review of new SOPs.
- Participates in new test development, validations and implementation.
- Attends at least one personal development session per year
- Performs other duties as assigned, or as needed, to ensure continued quality operations
- Ensures safety of operations:
- Follows all required safety procedures, uses personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for tasks performed.
- Maintains cleans and organized work area
- Provides service excellence:
- Answers telephone when needed, using NM telephone etiquette
- Maintains patient confidentiality including protected health information (PHI)
- Assists patients, visitors and other contacts whenever need occurs
- Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology, Medical Laboratory Science, Clinical Laboratory Science, Chemistry, Biology, or Allied Health qualifying the applicant to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification examination.
- General MLS or MT (ASCP) Certification or eligible or
- Categorical BB, C, H or M (ASCP) Certification or eligible
- If eligible, must be ASCP certified within one year of employment
Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.