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Pathology Lab Assistant Lead

Job ID R-38968 Date Posted 05/25/2023 Location Burlingame, California


MPHS-Mills-Peninsula Medical Center

Position Overview:

Integrates knowledge, theory and training to properly execute procedures in assigned areas of the laboratory. Responsibilities may include performing specimen and material receipt, preparation, distribution, storage, and disposal; patient visit registration and billing record entry; manual and automated processing of samples; loading/operating moderate complexity automated molecular diagnostic instruments; cleaning, stocking, and routine maintenance; supporting Pathology personnel and pathologists during consultations, postmortem examinations, and routine testing; providing customer service and assistance to clients, pathologists, patients, researchers, and other members of the patient care team; and other routine pre-analytic and post-analytic processes necessary to support health care providers in the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and prevention of disease. Participates in, and coordinates all aspects of, the daily operation of the assigned laboratory areas, monitoring, assessing, organizing and coordinating the daily activities of co-workers to ensure a smooth and continuous workflow overall, or within an assigned area. Duties routinely include staff scheduling, arranging coverage for staff absences, assigning work, prioritizing work, directing problem-solving and trouble-shooting, ensuring shift-to-shift continuity, and managing customer complaints or inquiries. Leads the development and implementation of new policies, procedures and protocols to streamline workflow, improve efficiency, and enhance the safety and reliability of testing; trains and assesses the competency of co-workers; provides guidance and direction to staff, enabling the accurate, timely and efficient completion of instrument maintenance, quality control, non-conforming even event management and records management; provides constructive feedback and recognition to peers, reinforcing Sutter's values and focusing the team's efforts on providing safe, reliable care; and serves as the liaison between laboratory leadership and staff, physicians, patients, family and other hospital staff, leading communication huddles and other structured team meetings.

Job Description:

These Principal Accountabilities, Requirements, and Qualifications are not exhaustive but are merely the most descriptive of the current job. Management reserves the right to revise the job description or require that other tasks be performed when the circumstances of the job change (for example, emergencies, staff changes, workload, or technical development).


  • Under appropriate indirect supervision and adhering to all applicable policies and regulations, assists physicians, clients, and staff in providing superior patient care with responsibilities in the following areas:
  • PRE-ANALYTIC AND POST-ANALYTIC WORK: Performs pre-analytic procedures to verify specimen acceptability, register patient visits, and accession cases, prepare materials and specimens for examination and testing, and distribute materials for testing and/or analysis. May also support qualified personnel during gross examinations, postmortem examinations, intra-procedural consultations, and fine needle aspirations, performing those duties not restricted by code, standard, or regulation. Performs post-analytic duties including materials storage, retrieval, disposal, and distribution.
  • SPECIMEN PROCESSING AND TESTING: Performs manual and automated specimen processing and/or testing that is not prohibited by code, standard, or regulation including gynecologic and non-gynecologic specimen processing, routine, and specialized staining. Loads and operates automated molecular diagnostic instruments. *Note – only licensed personnel may release test results.*
  • CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE: Orders and stocks reagents and supplies. Cleans and maintains pathology laboratory space and equipment including preparation and changing of reagents. *Note – only licensed personnel may perform quantitative measurements.
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE: Completes all quality control processes for assigned responsibilities with required documentation. Takes appropriate action in response to quality issues and problems
  • JOB KNOWLEDGE & CRITICAL THINKING: Maintains up-to-date operational information and job knowledge; effectively applies information, job knowledge, and critical thinking to make sound decisions and solve basic and complex problems within the scope of job responsibilities; escalates problems appropriately if outside of job scope.
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Contributes to the satisfaction of internal and external customers by responding to a wide variety of basic and complex and resolving inquiries, complaints, and problems; facilitating communication; or by escalating appropriately if the problem is outside of job scope. Support functions may include assisting with preparation for conferences and tumor boards; coordinating sharing or release of materials; and providing information as allowed under policy regarding results, collection, handling, submission, and testing.
  • COMPLIANCE: Adheres to applicable laws, regulations, codes, accreditation standards, policies, and procedures. Maintains knowledge and comprehension of policies and procedures applicable to all assigned areas and tasks to ensure safe and reliable performance of processes.
  • LEAD FUNCTIONS: Serves as the subject matter expert in assigned areas of pathology; coordinates the daily operation of assigned shifts to ensure efficient workflow and shift-to-shift continuity; develops, mentors, and trains staff; provides feedback to staff and may participate in competency assessments; authors and updates procedures as assigned; ensures adherence to procedures, quality control processes, and compliance standards; and troubleshoots problems, implements remediation, and communicates findings to management.
  • May support the laboratory as needed in other functions within the scope of regulation, training, and practice.

Equivalent experience will be accepted in lieu of the required degree or diploma.

HS Diploma: High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) or equivalent education/experience

4 years of recent relevant experience.

Knowledge and practice of standard principles, procedures, views, and equipment related to the handling of chemicals, pathogens, and other potentially infectious agents.

Knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, pathology, and medical terminology.

Possess written and verbal communication skills to explain sensitive information clearly and professionally to diverse audiences, including non-medical people.

Well-developed time management and organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize assignments and work within standardized operating procedures and scientific methods to achieve objectives and meet deadlines.

General knowledge of computer applications, such as Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and Outlook) and related information systems (laboratory Information System (LIS), electronic health records (EHR), and EPIC.

Work independently, as well as be part of the team, including accomplishing multiple tasks in an environment with interruptions.

Build collaborative relationships with peers and other healthcare providers to achieve departmental and corporate objectives.

Ensure the privacy of each patient’s protected health information (PHI).

Identify, evaluate, and resolve standard problems by selecting appropriate solutions from established options.

Pay Range: $35.51 - $44.39 / HR

The salary range for this role may vary above or below the posted range as determined by location. This range has not been adjusted for any specific geographic differential applicable by area where the position may be filled. Compensation takes into account several factors including but not limited to a candidate’s experience, education, skills, licensure and certifications, department equity, training and organizational needs. Base pay is just one piece of the total rewards program offered by Sutter Health. Eligible roles also qualify for a comprehensive benefits package.

Job Shift:



Full Time

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Days of the Week:

Friday, Monday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Weekend Requirements:






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Sutter Health is an equal opportunity employer EOE/M/F/Disability/Veterans.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, registered domestic partner status, sex, gender, gender identity, or expression, ancestry, national origin, age, medical condition, physical or mental disability, military or protected veteran status, political affiliation, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, genetic information or any other characteristic made unlawful by local, state, or federal law, ordinance or regulation. External hires must pass a background check/drug screen. Qualified applicants with arrest and/or conviction records will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with Federal, state, and local laws, including but not limited to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.