DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is full-performance level professional work performing medical
laboratory tests in the field of community health. Personal contacts include
co-workers, persons at various levels in the addiction services/criminal
justice system, such as Parole Officers, or in health care, such as doctors,
nurses and lab technologists, and others to analyze or report on samples,
remind them on crucial basics so they will take and maintain proper samples
and/or make clearer lab requests, etc. Contacts are interactive with doctors,
nurses and laboratory technologists to assure laboratory certification,
advise on tests that may be helpful and help interpret and explain results.
This class of work may entail some public service/assistance but it is
incidental to the primary focus of the work performed.
An employee in this class works independently performing, coordinating and/or, monitoring diagnostic services in a laboratory environment; provides technical advice or supervision; monitors inventory; purchases materials as needed; performs administrative duties; and performs, facilitates or transmits laboratory tests in urinalysis, microbiology and/or other areas in a cost-effective and accurate manner. Laboratory tests are performed to detect drug abuse or provide a definitive diagnosis to the medical provider in the prevention, control, and treatment of communicable and chronic diseases. Work is performed under the general direction of a laboratory supervisor or director and includes responsibility for establishing procedures and monitoring routine laboratory functions performed by other employees. Assignments involve a variety of testing procedures, require analytical thinking, and an understanding of the more advanced principles and concepts of the field of microbiology. The employee has full technical responsibility over the work and work results are reviewed in terms of effectiveness in meeting objectives. Guidelines are available in the form of standard laboratory procedures but occasionally do not apply to new or unusual laboratory analytical situations. The complexity of the work is marked by the importance of laboratory tests performed or facilitated and the need to apply technical knowledge in performing or advising on diagnostic test results. The work is further complicated by the requirement to maintain overall quality assurance in accordance with Maryland COMAR regulations. The test results and information obtained from tests and analyses performed assist others in attempting to detect and prevent the spread of communicable diseases in Montgomery County or to monitor the evaluation and treatment of substance abusers in Montgomery County. The work is performed in a combined office and laboratory environment with some risks requiring special safety precautions and procedures and the use of special equipment such as goggles, shields, protective clothing, and/or respiratory masks. The employee works with hazardous substances such as human waste or bodily fluids, and experiences discomfort or unpleasantness imposed by the job situation. Work involves some standing, walking, bending, and carrying of light laboratory equipment, specimens, and supplies.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Prepares culture media, solutions, and slides used to identify bacterial
Examines slides for the presence of bacteria, parasites, and ova.
Identifies pathogenic organisms in body fluids and exuded matter.
Performs proficiency testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) licensure process for specified health centers and the sexually transmitted disease program.
Provides special handling and processing for specimens with critical needs such as SARS, bio-terrorism agents, West Nile virus and tuberculosis testing for confirmation.
Tests client urine specimens and interprets results.
Trains lower level employees.
Oversees or performs the preparation and distribution of urine test results and attendance verification.
Interprets, records, and prepares reports on the results of the tests performed.
Seeks ways of improving, in consultation with the supervisor, the operating procedures of the laboratory in order to increase efficiency.
Ensures that laboratory equipment is properly utilized and maintained in good working order and complies with OSHA and MOSHA safety guidelines in areas such as fire, chemical and biological hazards, and work environment.
Maintains contact with therapeutic counselors, clinical treatment providers, probation officers, and courts of law to clarify urinalysis test results and procedures, and provide additional information as needed.
Maintains quality assurance program in accordance with State of Maryland Laboratories Administration, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene COMAR Regulations; and reviews calibrations and quality controls daily.
Prepares specimen rejection records monthly.
Testifies in courts of law to urine monitoring procedures and compliance with chain of custody on an as-needed basis.
Orders and maintains appropriate levels of supplies, monitors expenditures, and makes budget recommendations.
Develops and updates the urinalysis laboratory SOP.
Maintains the laboratory's Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
Performs correlation studies and method validations.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Three (3) years of relevant professional experience performing
biochemical and microbiological analysis of medical specimens.
Education: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in bioscience, biochemistry, microbiology, medical technology, or a related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of laboratory principles and procedures and the more difficult analyses related to microbiology, urinalysis, and/or hematology, as required by the position of assignment.
Knowledge of the use, operation, and care of laboratory equipment and techniques used in such analysis.
Knowledge of the laboratory hazards and skill in working safely, as appropriate to the position of assignment. This includes skill in handling and disposing of hazardous substances and waste.
Knowledge of quality assurance and quality control
Knowledge of standard operating procedures on chain of custody, as required by the position of assignment.
Skill in oral communication to exchange technical and non-technical information with co-workers, nurses, doctors and others on testing and test results.
Skill in calibrating laboratory instruments and equipment.
Ability to work with medical professionals to solve problems.
Ability to solve daily problems in routine and complex procedures utilizing other laboratory resources such as State and private laboratories and written professional sources.
Ability to work with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
Ability to work effectively and tactfully with people.
Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license when required for job related duties.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six (6) months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam
Class Established: June l973
Revised: May l977
February 1992 (M)
March 2004 (M)
Formerly titled: Laboratory Scientist II