A laboratory clerk may be hired to handle the administrative and clerical ends of a standalone laboratory facility, or one within a healthcare facility. In either case, the work of a laboratory clerk is the same.
The main idea behind hiring someone at this position is to make sure that all logistics and dynamics of a lab facility are handled in a proper way.
Typically, a high school diploma or a GED equivalent are sufficient to work as a laboratory clerk. However, some experience in this regard is always welcomed by hiring managers, who want to spend but little time on training you. Basic clerical skills such as typing and filing are important if you want to work at this position. You might need to go through an extended training program to familiarize yourself with the many aspects of this work, including word processing, filing, and medical terminology.
Moreover, working as a lab clerk means that you will be on the go at all time, doing one thing or another, such as assisting lab assistants or phlebotomists, and organizing space and work areas for laboratory staff members. As a lab clerk, it is your responsibility to make sure that all supplies and equipment are properly managed, and that low stock situations do not transpire.
To see what a laboratory clerk is expected to do on any given day at work, have a look at the following list of duties particular to this position:
Laboratory Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
• Take orders for handling laboratory reports, and accurately process anatomical and clinical lab test reports.
• Respond to patients over the telephone, providing them with detailed information on lab facilities.
• Assist lab assistants by manning telephones to provide lab report generation and timeline information.
• Receive phone orders for lab tests, from doctors, nurses, and unit clerks, and ensure that they are properly followed.
• File lab copies of patients’ test reports, and respond to requests for retrieval, after verifying authority of the requester.
• Oversee and maintain lab supplies and equipment inventory, and ensure that low stock situations are communicated to lab managers.
• Deliver laboratory and radiology reports to physicians’ offices on a daily basis.
• Pick and deliver laboratory specimens from doctors’ offices, and emergency areas.
• Prepare and mail lab reports to patients and out of town physicians.
• Create and maintain current address files for physicians, hospitals, health care institutions, and laboratories.
• Route lab reports to assigned hospital staff members for quality assurance studies and feedback.