Clinical laboratory scientists generally work for hospitals and independent medical laboratories. Candidates for this position are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, laboratory science, or a related field, as well as necessary certifications as required by employers.
These scientists are responsible for both routine and complex clinical laboratory procedures, and they must always follow their employers' guidelines, policies, and procedures. They must practice and understand established quality control procedures and ensure that their work area and all instruments and materials are clean and sterile at all times. They must always comply with established safety and infection control policies and guidelines and adhere to other safe work procedures.
Some clinical laboratory scientists may have to troubleshoot minor breakdowns related to laboratory instruments, perform preventive maintenance, and, if necessary, call technicians for further repairs. They may be responsible for the inventory of supplies and materials, and some may work directly with patients to collect specimens.
Those in this position must be friendly and maintain their patients' comfort at all times, and strong excellent interpersonal and communication skills are highly beneficial; confidentiality is also important. Some are advised to attend relevant classes or workshops by their employers or do so on a voluntary basis to expand their knowledge, and some may have to train, coach, or mentor new or junior clinical laboratory scientists.
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Tasks
- Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
- Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
- Prepare and analyze organ, tissue and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms, or to study cell structure.