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Billings Clinic Laboratory Technical Assistant in Billings, Montana

Laboratory Technical Assistant



Day, Evening

Per Diem


0.01 = per diem

Job Summary

Under general supervision, the incumbent in this position will work in one or more of the primary areas within the Laboratory Department to include Processing, Cytology, Histology, Microbiology, Blood Bank, Hematology, Chemistry and/or Inventory Control. Responsible to assist Laboratory Staff in accordance with established procedures for specimen receipt and testing. Performs laboratory duties as instructed by Laboratory Leadership. ## Additional characteristics for the Lead Role: Acts as a lead for an assigned area of department, including assisting with the day to day operations of the department, responsible for quality control and regulatory readiness of department.ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

Essential Job Functions


Supports and models behaviors consistent with Billings Clinic’s mission, vision, values, code of business conduct and service expectations. Meets all mandatory organizational and departmental requirements. Maintains competency in all organizational, departmental and outside agency standards as it relates to the environment, employee, patient safety or job performance.

• Laboratory Technical Assistant – Level I Responsibilities

Processes and accessions samples according to established policies and procedures.

Assists with inventory management including stocking, ordering and monitoring to ensure adequate supplies to meet business needs within the assigned section of the laboratory (Cytology, Histology, Processing, Sendouts, Hematology, Microbiology, Blood Bank, etc.)

Performs waived laboratory testing and specimen processing within scope of practice.

Provides administrative/clerical support for the departments including maintaining accurate record systems, requisitions, quality control data, patient results, and workflow documentation. Understands and demonstrates appropriate communication of Private Health Information.

Assist pathologists and physicians, including collecting and transporting specimens, preparation of bone marrow specimens and/or fine needle aspiration/fine needle biopsies, preparing slides, maintaining integrity of specimens, and disposal of specimens according to procedure.

Answers multi-line telephones and responds to the majority of all incoming calls before transferring to alternate resources. Responds to questions from patients, physicians and other reference labs and provides routine information, collection and testing procedures, specimen processing, turn around times, result reporting and reference lab availability. Also responds to non-routine questions regarding what steps need to be taken to rectify a situation when the integrity of a sample/specimen has been compromised.

Facilitates result reporting. Results may be called to physician’s office, faxed or mailed depending on orders and situation.

Monitors all label printers and fax machines for incoming orders. Responsible for ensuring printers and faxes are maintained in good working order due to the critical nature of information being received. Acts as a resource in resolving printer and fax related function problems, maintenance and form loading.

Responsible for checking and verifying the integrity/quality of the specimens to ensure appropriate specimen volumes, packaging, etc. Assumes responsibility for initiating follow-up action necessary to prevent and/or resolve problem scenarios and coordinates as appropriate with other departments, management, etc.

Coordinates specimen mail-outs to reference laboratories. Duties include decisions regarding how to draw sample/specimen, timing of draw, appropriate preparation of the sample/specimen, timing of mailing, selecting appropriate reference lab for processing as outlined in laboratory policies and procedures and tracking and planning the appropriate transportation mode.

Maintains inventory management including order entry in Lawson, stocking and monitoring to ensure adequate supplies to meet the business needs for all areas within the Laboratory department and reference laboratory. Uses the correct cost center and General Ledger numbers.

Dispatches and monitors the phlebotomy staff to maintain efficient response and turnaround times on hospital specimen orders.

Receives specimens from the laboratory runners, phlebotomy staff, pneumatic tube system and external clients. Utilizes judgment to determine if sample/specimen is appropriate for testing according to established guidelines or if a redraw will be necessary. Initiates specimen preparation and processing. Utilizes appropriate equipment (i.e. track system, centrifuge), prepares spin-offs, aliquots, cassettes, blocks and slides and distributes to the appropriate area of the laboratory for final processing. Monitors printers for STAT orders from the nursing units.

Responsible for set-up, basic maintenance and records of work stations; filling staining stations, imagers, cleaning work areas, emptying garbage, cleaning of track, checking temperatures of refrigerators and freezers, cleaning of centrifuges, monitoring courier contact points, creating cassettes, changing fluids and paraffin, etc.

• Lab Technical Assistant-Level II Additional Laboratory Responsibilities

Assists with orientation and training of Level I staff and Technologists/Technicians within scope of practice. Acts as a resource to Level I or other ancillary staff responding to procedural questions and assisting with problem resolution within scope of practice. Acts as a resource to Level I staff and Technologists/Technicians regarding appropriate specimen handling and processing for mail outs, processing, receiving, order entry, and the handling of reference specimens

Participates in the daily scheduling of Laboratory Technical Assistants including all shifts, weekends and holidays. Assists in finding coverage for staff shortages.

Participates in and assists with additional levels of responsibilities for special projects and/or delegated tasks. Participates in personnel development programs such as PSE, Operational Excellence, and Safety Committee. Actively participates in interview of candidates.

Utilizes appropriate CIS applications to complete daily tasks in the department to include all applications within PathNet, Powerchart, and Revenue Cycle. Uses MS4, Misys and other legacy systems as needed. Demonstrates competence in MayoAccess and LifePoint as well as other Laboratory Interface/Portal programs (i.e. Harvest, GenOptix eCompass, etc.) Uses pendings/worklists effectively to support patient care.

Review and documents daily/weekly maintenance (BB cleaning, Pipette, Processors, Stainers, etc.) Generates monthly statistics as necessary for Laboratory Section.

• Laboratory Technical Assistant III Duties

Act as a resource to the Level I and II Laboratory Technical Assistants or other ancillary staff with regards to scheduling and special projects. Responds to procedural questions and assists with problem solving.

Assists with orientation and training of Level I and II staff within scope of practice

Responsible for the distribution, tracking, and collection of the annual laboratory technical assistant competency exams. Coordinates any outstanding issues or problems with the Lead or Supervisor.

Participates in monthly meetings with Leads and Supervisors (as applicable) to identify and resolve any issues or concerns, including safety concerns for staff and guests that may arise.

Demonstrates use of Lawson reports to maintain accurate inventory records and resolve issues. Research and educates others on appropriate cost centers and General Ledger numbers for budgets as needed for Leadership.

Works independent of direct supervision and uses sound judgment during established policies and procedures. Will compile and maintain departmental statistics.

• Lead Duties (Standard Lead Duties)

Acts as lead for assigned department. Assists in the management of the day to day operations of department. Responsible for orientation of new staff and ongoing training/education for staff. Responsible for maintaining daily staffing in area. Participates in and provides input into interviewing, hiring, performance appraisals and disciplinary procedures. Leads staff meetings.

Responsible for coordinating regular maintenance activities and supply inventory. Participates in the evaluation of supplies, including quality and costs.

Provides technical expertise and support. Acts as a resource for technical issues. Coordinates with leadership on new technology implementations.

Responsible for ensuring adherence to regulatory standards and ongoing regulatory readiness of department and staff. Evaluates and maintains records of quality control procedures. Responsible for writing and updating policies and procedures designed to meet regulatory standards.

• General Duties for all Levels

Performs other duties as assigned or needed to meet the needs of the department/organization.

Essential Functions Disclaimer

Supports and models behaviors consistent with Billings Clinic’s mission, vision, values, code of business conduct and service expectations. Meets all mandatory organizational and departmental requirements. Maintains competency in all organizational, departmental and outside agency standards as it relates to the environment, employee, patient safety or job performance.

Performs all other duties as assigned or as needed to meet the needs of the department/organization.

Department or Level Specific Duties and Responsibilities

• May be required to float to various areas within the laboratory and branch locations to assist with and/or fulfill staffing needs

• Analytical skills necessary to understand and resolve routine operating problems within scope of practice.

• Analytical skills necessary to perform waived specimen analysis according to established policies and procedures

• Analytical skills necessary to evaluate data prior to reporting under direct supervision within scope of practice

• Works with the Technologist/Technician to establish an appropriate workflow in accordance with established standards

• Work is performed under general supervision in accordance with regulatory requirements, established policies and procedures and general directives.

• Assumes responsibility for initiating follow-up to prevent and/or resolve problem scenarios and coordinates with the appropriate department and/or person.

• Expected to prioritize all aspects of job

• Demonstrates ability to assess specimen integrity within service area or with guidance from Technologist/Technician, Laboratory Assistant II or Supervisor

• Interpersonal skills which enable the incumbent to appropriately respond to a variety of patient/family requests and inquiries, to respond to inquiries from physicians, nursing staff and other health care providers and to check for understanding, allay apprehension and enlist the cooperation of the patient. Ability to deal with difficult situations in a mature and professional manner.

• None

• Participates in and/or assists Technologist/Technician with the performance of quality control correlations and instrumentation checks

• Participates in and/or assists Technologist/Technician with the performance of routine and/or preventative maintenance of instruments and equipment

• Errors could result in customer satisfaction issues

• Errors related to identification of patients or specimens could result in serious and/or life threatening consequences.

• Errors in charge generation could result in loss of revenue or errors in patient/customer billing. KNOWLEDGE OF / SKILLS / ABILITIES / COMPLEXITIES AND DIFFICULTIES


Billings Clinic policy and procedures, both organizational and departmental

Personal computers, hardware and software

Billings Clinic Code of Conduct

Billings Clinic’s Compliance and Integrity Program

HIPAA and confidentiality requirements

Patient’s rights

Customer service techniques and Personal Service Excellence (PSE)

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

• Billings Clinic policy and procedures, both organizational and departmental

• Personal computers, hardware and software

• Microsoft Office programs (i.e., Windows, Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.) and office procedures

• MS4, Misys, MayoAccess and Cerner

• Detailed laboratory testing components and requirements

• Billings Clinic Courier services and other transportation modes for specimens

• Medical, chemical and biological terminology

• HIPAA/confidentiality rights

• Billings Clinic Code of Business Conduct

• Billings Clinic Corporate Compliance Program

• Instrument maintenance

• Infection control procedures and personal protective equipment

• Hazardous materials

• Science, chemistry and mathematics

• Customer service techniques and Personal Service Excellence (PSE) skills

• Patient safety standards

• Laboratory Technical Assistant III and Lead

Leadership principles and practices

• Professional communication skills, both verbal and written

• Utilization of midrange computer systems and software applications for data entry and retrieval

• Technical skills regarding sample types, anticoagulants, testing stabilities, methodologies, interpretation of test results, etc.

• Paying close attention to the details of receiving, processing and mail-out requirements for all specimens to ensure the quality and integrity of the specimens and to ensure adherence to established policies and procedures; identify non-compliance and initiate appropriate corrective action

• Operating laboratory equipment as it relates to specimen processing and mail-out services

• Prioritize work assignments (i.e., routine, STAT and Timed)

• Applying infection control standards and guidelines for handling infectious materials and for disposal of all contaminated specimens

• Laboratory Technical Assistant III

Conflict resolution

Application of leadership principles and practices

Providing training/education for point of care duties

• Incorporate population specific needs into all aspects of communication and patient care; scope of service will encompass age groups ranging from infant through geriatric

• Communicate clearly and effectively, both verbal and written

• Establish and maintain collaborative relationships

• Perform consistently with high levels of accuracy

• Work with frequent interruptions, time deadlines, high volumes and difficult patients

• Work collaboratively with members of the laboratory and organization to improve organizational outcomes

• Anticipate the needs of internal and external customers with empathy and understanding

• Recognize confidentiality is an ethical, moral and legal responsibility; accesses and discloses information on a need to know basis

• Identify the differences in specimen tubes, including the ability to differentiate between colors.

• Concentrate fully on the task at hand and be meticulous with accuracy and consistency

• Laboratory Technical Assistant III and Lead

Apply leadership principles and practices, assign workloads to meet business needs, and provide education/training for point of care services

• Complexity & Difficulty

Errors in specimen preparation or conducting analysis could result in poor quality tests which could negatively impact the quality of patient care

• Position requires high levels of critical thinking to ensure that each specimen/sample meets and adheres to the established specimen protocols and processing procedures.

• Errors in conducting waived procedures, specimen processing of waived tests and radiographs could result in poor quality tests which could negatively impact the quality of patient care. Performs in an environment where problems are many and diverse and which requires fast, unique and creative solutions. Capable of making decisions and sound judgments within the established policies and procedures to ensure the quality and integrity of the services rendered. The magnitude and variety of independent problems increase the complexity.

• Must maintain customer service focus in all situations (i.e., clients, reference laboratories, pathologists, technical support) establishing credibility, trust and rapport

• Position requires knowledge and experience with hundreds of reference tests including: accredited laboratory requirements, specimen types, collection tubes and anticoagulants, analytic testing time and clinical information.

• Failure to maintain safety standards may result in illness or injury to the employee and/or patients

• Approximately one to two months of on-the-job training required in order to become familiar with full scope of responsibilities.

• Responsible to operate within scope of practice MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS


Min/Preferred Education

Minimum High School or GED High school graduate or equivalent

Preferred Other

Advanced education in areas of science, chemistry and mathematics normally acquired through college level courses preferred

Billings Clinic is a community-owned, not-for-profit health care organization in Billings, Montana with approximately 4,000 employees, including over 400 physicians and advanced practitioners. Our integrated organization consists of a multi-specialty group practice and a 304-bed hospital. Learn more about Billings Clinic ( (our organization, history, mission, leadership and regional locations) and how we are recognized nationally for our exceptional quality ( .

Billings Clinic is comm itted to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity. All policies and processes are designed toward achieving fair and equitable treatment of all employees and job applicants. Employees are encouraged to discuss any concerns they have in this regard with their immediate supervisor and/or the Vice President People Resources. All employees and job applicants will be provided the same treatment in all aspects of the employment relationship, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, genetic information or disability.