Specimen Preparation Technician

As a specimen prep tech at Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO), Olivia Farmer describes the right characteristics you need to have to be a successful specimen technician, and shares why she loves her DLO family.

Basic Purpose

The specimen preparation technician (SPT I) is responsible for general support functions within the Specimen Processing department. A data entry background is preferred, but not required. Functions performed may include but are not limited to:

  • Processing orders into local information system (LIS)
  • Presort, pickup and delivery of processed specimens to the laboratory
  • Centrifugation and aliquoting of specimens

All functions must be performed with confidence, accuracy and in a timely manner. The job is complex and requires that the employee have good organization skills and is able to learn and understand specimen types related to test(s) ordered by the client. The SPT I must have to the ability learn and understand the compliance regulations related to test ordering, which may change on a daily basis. This position is critical to quality for customer satisfaction. Additionally, since many changes do occur from day to day, great flexibility on the part of the SPT I is required. The SPT I will be exposed to many different demands made by the customer. The majority of SPT I work is on the nightshift, but based on staffing needs, overtime is occasionally required. The department is a production environment with an emphasis on productivity/quality standards and departmental completion times.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Demonstrates an ability to learn the job duties assigned to the SPT I, and develops an understanding of how all the functions in Specimen Management fit together (Processing, Tech-Ops, and Referral Testing).
  • Identifies problems with specimen types, missing information etc. and assigns the appropriate TIQ, and in some cases resolves them.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the compliance policies related to test ordering, which requires developing ability to research test ordering information on translation tables, computer system, and the directory of services.
  • Meets standards for production and accuracy within 4 months.
  • Understands the complex relationship between test(s) ordered and specimen received.
  • Completes all required written documentation, legibly and within the assigned timeframe
  • Reports to work on time, and follows attendance guidelines.
  • Learns additional functions within Specimen Processing to allow timely progression to the next level.
  • Performs other duties as assigned

This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities, but rather a general description of the work performed by this position.

Educational Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent. College degree preferred.

Work Experience

  • Previous experience in a production environment pr laboratory preferred.
  • Position requires data background with abilities to enter 6000 keystrokes/hour.

Other Requirements

  • Handles multiple tasks simultaneously and works in a production environment.
  • Communicates effectively with all levels of staff.
  • Maintains composure while working under pressure.
  • Reflects good judgment at all times when determining what action to take when resolving problems.
  • Adheres to DLO core values, safety and compliance policies and procedures.
  • Works in a biohazard environment, practicing good safety habits.
  • Keeps work area neat and clean.
  • Able to sit for long periods.
  • Demonstrates strong interpersonal skills that foster a positive environment.
  • Demonstrates flexibility and ability to adapt to change.