The position of Medical Laboratory Technician is versatile and highly skillful. New employees come from different background and accompanying them with suitable job tasks can be challenging. I have devised a program structure for new employees that explains the tasks that team leaders and supervisors are to perform with new hires in order to have them trained on each department or lab bench while performing the daily tasks and not breaking the routine of workload. Each employee will have a task list that he/she is responsible to check and finish while assigned for training on each bench.
Description of Laboratory Technician and Technologist Positions and their Duties
The Basic new hire positions will fall under two main categories based upon education and experience which are Technician and Technologist. Although Technicians and Technologists are responsible for all exclusive tasks of testing and analyzing the results, the lab Technologists perform additional tasks and monitor calibration and perform quality control as required by quality assurance department. The Technologist will address monthly special maintenance of all the analyzers and laboratory equipment. Although some special tasks will be performed by on-duty personnel regardless of their designation such as instrument calibration and running lot-to-lot parallel checks and comparison. All testing personnel are required to perform and participate in CAP (College of American Pathologists) surveys with may include a combinations of tests like analyzing CAP specimens with current laboratory protocols or analyzing images and written problems and providing answer responses to them in timely order. The minimum educational requirement for Technicians is an Associate Degree or Technical education in the laboratory field and a minimum of 5 years of field related experience, and the educational requirements for Technologists are at least a Bachelor degree in Chemistry or Biological science and a minimum of 5 years of field related experience. Those candidates who possess professional certification such as ASCP or ASCLS will be given a first priority.
The new hire will be assigned to training with either the team leader on that particular lab bench or a full time technician working there. He/She will start the training by reading the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) and first reviewing and performing the technical aspects under the technician’s supervision. The learning objectives will start with introduction to laboratory safety protocols and getting acquainted with the laboratory departments and its team. There will be a walk thru spot and identification of various fire safety procedures and identification of fire alarms, fire exit doors and designated meeting area in case of emergency and knowledge of locations of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), various occupational hazard awareness, and basic Lab information system training and getting acquainted with different functions of LCLS, LCWS, PROC and SIS system. Then the trainee will understand the specimen requirements and rejection criteria and reporting of the abnormal and critical results.
Mode of Training
Most of the training will occur on-the-job but some of the training is acquired thru computer and intranet. The instrumentation and its basics are taught in practical by understanding the pre-analytical procedures of the specimen and instrument basics on-hands with the trainer while some of the principles of instrumentation and basic troubleshooting is understood by taking online lessons thru instrument’s manufacturer’s website or by attending webinars in the conference rooms at work. Traditional power point presentations are not too often performed for training employees except for basic orientation and safety introduction. However, video conferences and webinars and interactive CD-ROMs are preferred modes for continuing education and training of current and new hire employees.