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Specimen Processor Job Description

Are you getting ready to apply for a new role as a specimen processor?

This role involves handling biological specimens such as blood samples and bacteria cultures. It is necessary to have a certain amount of lab experience to do this job and strong attention to detail. If you have set your sights on a choice role, there are likely to be several other applicants. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to the job description to make your application as strong as possible.

So, let’s check out some ways to make your application particularly appealing.

specimen processor job description

Specimen Processor Job Description

A typical job description for this role should begin with an overview of the company you will be working for. It should describe the size of the laboratory as well as the average volume of daily specimens you would handle. There is also likely to be information on the size of the team, the type of contract, and the base salary.

The education and experience requirements for this role should be clearly outlined in the job description. There should be a breakdown of the types of duties you would be charged with regularly. There should also be information on the skills and other attributes that the ideal candidate should possess.

the specimen processor job description

The Working Environment

The majority of this work takes place in a laboratory. It is necessary to be able to concentrate for long periods and remain standing. Specimen processors also need to be able to work well in high-pressure situations.

Most people who take on this role take on full-time hours from Monday to Friday. It may occasionally be necessary to work on weekends, evenings, and during public holidays. You may also need to meet and consult with patients from time to time.

Typical Duties And Responsibilities

There is a set of duties and responsibilities that typically go with this type of role. Highlighting your experience with these duties will help identify you as a particularly strong candidate.

Here are some of the most common specimen processor duties and an overview of what they involve.

Handling specimens

This essential part of the job involves receiving, processing, unloading, and unpacking specimens for testing in the laboratory. You need to determine whether the specimens meet lab standards, document quality issues, and dispose of them correctly. You will also need to inform the relevant medical staff about specimens that were incorrectly collected and are unusable.

Preparing patient records

It is essential to confirm the accuracy of both patient and specimen details. You then need to accurately document patient data, including the name, address, age, and the tests that have been performed. You need to make sure that all records are correctly stored so that they can be easily retrieved when needed.

Providing laboratory support

You will work as part of a team in the laboratory and will be responsible for helping keep it clean. This includes sanitizing benchtops, preparing and cleaning lab instruments, and managing lab inventory. You will also perform clerical duties like electronically recording patient and specimen data electronically and labeling and numbering specimens.

Quality control

It is essential to make sure that quality standards for specimens are followed to the letter. This includes disposing of specimens that are more than seven days old and storing them correctly. Highlighting your experience with this duty shows hiring managers that you understand the nature of the job.

Following laboratory guidelines

It is necessary to follow strict laboratory guidelines at all times while doing this job. It is essential to know the correct and safe way to analyze samples and keep the laboratory clean. Failing to do this can result in contaminated samples and even a serious accident.

Valuable Skills And Attributes

When scanning your resume, the hiring manager will be focused on making sure you have the right skills. Highlighting the desired skills will show that you have what it takes to do this job well.

Here are the key skills that a successful specimen processor should possess.

Communication skills

You need to be able to communicate specimen-related information and issues clearly, both verbally and in writing. Have strong, active listening skills to interpret the steps of different tasks. You also need to be able to explain complex information as clearly and simply as possible.

Attention to detail

Even the tiniest errors can result in a big problem when you are working in a laboratory. It is essential to work accurately and check your findings before submitting them. Hiring managers are sure to look for this skill when scanning your application.

Problem-solving skills

You need to think outside the box to do this job well. Be focused on identifying specimen issues. When problems arise in the laboratory, it is essential to be able to keep a cool head. You need to analyze the situation calmly and identify the best action to take.

Peer training

You will need to train new laboratory employees from time to time. This involves providing instruction on safety protocols, the appropriate procedures, and data entry processes. You need to be able to explain the elements of laboratory work clearly and be comfortable delegating tasks.

Dexterity

You need to have a high level of manual dexterity to work with different types of samples. This is especially important when you are preparing and screening specimens and preparing solutions. Highlighting this skill shows the hiring manager that you have a good understanding of the demands of the job.

Education And Experience

It is usually necessary to hold an associate’s degree in phlebotomy to do this job. In some cases, applicants can hold an associate’s degree in medical data entry or a related field. Most employers seek candidates who have at least a year of practical experience working in a laboratory. You also need to demonstrate that you know medical terminology and have data entry experience.

Valuable Specimen Processor Certifications

If you already have a little work experience in this field, you may be ready to take on an advanced role. Gaining a professional certification is the best way to show employers that you have the necessary skills and experience.

Here are some of the best specimen processor certifications that you can earn to showcase your specialist skills.

Phlebotomy Technician Certification

This special certification is offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology to people who have completed an approved phlebotomy program. Candidates must complete forty hours of class instruction and a hundred hours of hands-on experience. The exam for this certification consists of eighty multiple-choice questions.

Certified Phlebotomy Technician

The National Healthcareer Association offers several categories of certified phlebotomy technician certifications for you to choose from. You will attend twenty hours of phlebotomy classes before certification is granted. It is important to read the course details carefully to make sure it meets your career needs and goals.

Registered Phlebotomy Technician

The American Medical Technologists offer this certification to people who have passed an accredited phlebotomy course in the past four years. You also need to have gained at least a thousand hours of practical work in the field. The exam covers a range of basic phlebotomy questions and can be retaken up to four times.

Certified Phlebotomist Technologist

You can gain this certification through the National Phlebotomy Association after completing special allied health training. This training program includes two hundred hours of clinical practice and at least 160 hours of classroom lessons. In addition to sitting and passing a multi-choice exam, it is necessary to pass a physical and drug test.

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Final Thoughts

When applying for a specimen processor role, it is essential to highlight your skills and experience.

Take the time to work out which of your skills are likely to be the most appealing to the hiring manager. Carefully reading the set requirements in the job description will help you to do this.

It is a good idea to do as much research into your potential employer as possible before applying. Do background research into the role, including checking out similar job descriptions. Take the time to craft your resume. Your relevant experience and skills need to be presented in the best way.

All the very best n your new career as a Specimen Processor!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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