Medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) are responsible for assisting with laboratory duties and completing medical tasks on behalf of their organization. They are in charge of completing administrative tasks, processing laboratory results as required, and interacting with other medical professionals and patients. Medical laboratory assistants also use a computer system to process lab specimens, keep technical records, develop reports, and perform data entry for patients, laboratory results, and other information.
The medical laboratory assistant's main responsibilities also include maintaining laboratory inventory, ordering new supplies as needed, and helping analyze lab results to ensure all necessary steps have been followed before relaying results to the patient. They are also in charge of processing samples and prepares reliable specimen transport. In all tasks, the assistant must follow safety and privacy protocols. These assistants generally report their progress to the medical laboratory supervisor.
A high school diploma or equivalent, as well as laboratory technician certification, is generally required for this position. Previous experience in a medical laboratory is generally required or preferred. Medical laboratory assistants must have strong knowledge of laboratory equipment, procedures, techniques and terminology. They also need to be organized and pay close attention to detail, as well as have strong communication and interpersonal skills. These assistants must work well in a team setting to reach all organizational goals in a timely manner, as well as perform effectively on their own with minimal supervision.