What is the role of a Medical Laboratory Assistant?
All pathology samples are received by our staff at the Specimen Reception. They are then sorted and processed in order of priority. Urgent requests, such as those from the Emergency Department, are the highest level of priority and tests are completed and reported within 1 hour. These samples are passed to a designated Medical Laboratory Assistant who deals only with urgent samples. These are checked, booked onto the APEX computer system and centrifuged before being taken into the laboratory.
In patient work is our next priority so that patients can be discharged from wards promptly in order to free up beds for admissions from the Emergency Department.
All routine and GP requests are reported within 24 hours of receipt.
Samples are checked to ensure that they are suitable for testing, that we have received the correct samples for the tests requested and that they are accurately labelled with the patient details. If they meet the criteria for testing, they are booked onto our APEX computer system before being taken into the laboratory for analysis.
Requests made using Cerner (our on line ordering system) or the GP equivalent, are scanned onto the Apex computer system. Requests not ordered on line must be typed into Apex using various different test, consultant and location codes. The introduction of on line ordering means that requests can be entered much more quickly and accurately which is of benefit to our patients.
To become an MLA, no formal qualifications are required but GCSE or equivalent in English and Maths would be advantageous.