PURPOSE OF JOB CLASS (NATURE OF WORK)
In a state health, academic or diagnostic laboratory, this class is accountable for performing a range of technical laboratory work with emphasis on special techniques and more complex technical examinations involving independent calculations, more advanced laboratory equipment and analytical judgements.
In an academic institution laboratory complex, this class is accountable for preparing and maintaining student laboratories.
GUIDELINES FOR JOB CLASS USE
Works under the limited supervision of an employee of higher grade.
May lead Laboratory Aides, lower level laboratory assistants or other employees as assigned.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES
STATE HEALTH, ACADEMIC OR DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY: Prepares specimens/samples, culture media, solutions and reagents of varying complexity but with emphasis on use of more specialized techniques and calibrated measuring devices, analytical balances and independent calculations; performs more complex technical examinations; assists in collection and identification of specimens for special laboratory studies; performs minor maintenance on laboratory equipment; maintains inventory of all testing materials prepared; keeps records of laboratory findings and prepares reports; may lead lower level laboratory employees in preparatory techniques and performance of technical examinations; performs related duties as required.
ACADEMIC INSTITUTION LABORATORY COMPLEX: Prepares materials and equipment needed to carry out student laboratory assignments and maintain large student laboratories, e.g. media, solutions, reagents and stains of varying types and complexities, preserved materials and animal specimens, instructional media, etc.; ensures cleanliness and proper set up of laboratory equipment, materials and facilities; requisitions needed supplies and maintains inventory; assembles and breaks down laboratory exercises and course materials; oversees and assists student workers and other lower level laboratory employees; prepares reports; performs related duties as required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ABILITY
Knowledge of specialized laboratory techniques and procedures; ability to make independent analytical judgements and carry out independent calculations; ability to prepare reports and keep technical records.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - GENERAL EXPERIENCE
Four (4) years' experience in laboratory work.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - SPECIAL EXPERIENCE
Two (2) years of the General Experience must have been in a related laboratory setting at the level of Laboratory Assistant 2 or above.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - SUBSTITUTIONS ALLOWED
College training in the biological or physical sciences may be substituted for the General or Special Experience on the basis of fifteen (15) semester hours equalling one-half (1/2) year of experience to a maximum of four (4) years for a Bachelor's degree.
Incumbents in this class must be willing to undergo periodic tests or immunizations for communicable diseases as necessary.
Incumbents in this class may occasionally be required to lift standard laboratory equipment; may be exposed to some risk of injury from such elements as toxic vapors and toxic and/or disease-carrying substances; may be exposed to moderately disagreeable conditions.
JOB CLASS DESIGNATION
This replaces the existing specification for the class Laboratory Assistant 3 in Salary Group HH 15 approved effective January 15, 1988. (Revised to implement SCOPE compensation)
ADDENDUM TO SPECIFICATIONS FOR LABORATORY ASSISTANTS 1, 2, AND 3
GUIDELINES FOR CLASS USE IN LABORATORY ENVIRONMENTS
LABORATORY ASSISTANT 1: Indications of the level of work performed are: Preparation of "simple" solutions generally involves mixing of one or several ingredients with water according to a prescribed formula. A trip balance may be used to measure out ingredients as well as graduated glassware. A pH meter may also be used but is generally limited to taking the pH reading of a substance rather than for making adjustments. The use of calculations is limited, if required at all. Preparation of "routine" specimens/samples refers to such procedures as centrifuging blood specimens, staining and simple streaking of media on glass plates [streaking that does not involve selection of a bacterial colony for isolation purposes (microbiology)] and clarification of samples through simple separation or filtration (chemistry). Tests and examinations are generally not performed at this level except on a very limited basis under supervision and involving only very simple one step procedures.
In general very little technical skill is involved but incumbents work under very prescribed guidelines and do not exercise independent judgment.
LABORATORY ASSISTANT 2: Indications of the level of work performed are: Preparation of "moderately complex" solutions generally involves mixing of several ingredients with water and use of calculations. The use of a precision top loading balance (more accurate than a trip balance) may be required as well as graduated glassware and a pH meter for purposes of making adjustments (the use of analytical balances may be required at this level on a limited basis). Preparation of specimens/samples for analysis requires use of simple techniques such as those noted above as well as more advanced techniques such as streaking plates and selecting bacterial colonies, pipetting samples and innoculating media (microbiology) and clarifying samples through separation and filtration using more complex types of solutions (chemistry). Routine tests and examinations may also be performed according to standard, prescribed procedures. Incumbents should be able to take basic readings and record results but should not be expected to "interpret" results. The use of equipment such as gas chromatographs and spectrophotometers may be required. Examples of tests performed at this level are: tests for mastitis and brucellosis in dairy cows, reading breed smears (pathobiology); tests for mononucleosis and syphilis (microbiology); protein and metal assays (chemistry), etc. In general a degree of technical skill is required but incumbents still work under very prescribed guidelines and exercise little independent judgment (e.g. interpretation of results).
LABORATORY ASSISTANT 3: Indications of the level of work performed are: Preparation of "complex" solutions using such equipment as analytical balances and pH meters (for readings as well as adjustments), special techniques and independent calculations. Tests and examinations performed differ in that incumbents can be expected to use more sophisticated techniques, exercise a significantly greater degree of independent judgment, interpret their own test results and troubleshoot for accuracy. In general more specialized technical skills are required and incumbents perform work representing the highest level of technical expertise in the paraprofessional laboratory series.