Los Angeles County PHL
DEFINITION: Performs a variety of standardized public health laboratory tests within a specialized area (such as bacteriology, virology, serology, or parasitology) or across specialty lines.
CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS: Positions allocable to this class work under the supervision of supervisory public health laboratory personnel in a general or a specialized public health laboratory unit. Incumbents are responsible for the accurate performance on a volume basis of a group of standardized tests assigned to a laboratory unit and/or an individual workstation. Although varying in their complexity, the tests conducted by Public Health Microbiologists are standardized with the procedures prescribed by laboratory management. These procedures are available to Public Health Microbiologists I in written form either in a procedures manual, a textbook, or other document. Public Health Microbiologists are specifically trained in the performance of each test and are not permitted to function independently until they have satisfactorily demonstrated not only that they can correctly perform the test but also that they understand the scientific principles on which the test is based. Public Health Microbiologists are accountable for the validity and reliability of all tests results obtained. Such accountability extends not only to their following exact procedures in test performance, but in the calibration of all instruments used and the quality control of other variables which might affect the results, such as reagents or other solutions or materials. Incumbents use judgment in the conduct of the laboratory tests assigned them; they not only measure quantities of specimen and other solutions or materials used and perform mathematical calculations, they must also evaluate or interpret their findings at each step in the test process and determine that such finding are consistent with overall clinical symptoms indicated by the attending physician. When findings do not appear to be consistent with the clinical symptoms indicated by physician, Public Health Microbiologists I may communicate with the physician directly or through their supervisors in an effort to resolve apparent discrepancies. Public Health Microbiologists instruct approved trainees and newly hired microbiologists in all aspects of their work.
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