Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Essential Functions

The pathologists’ assistant must possess scientific curiosity and good judgment. Patience and thoroughness are necessary to perform grossing and other tasks with precision. However, when necessary, the pathologists’ assistant must be able to work quickly without sacrificing precision. Also important to the pathologists’ assistant is manual dexterity, the ability to concentrate and normal eyesight. The pathologists’ assistant must possess communication and interpersonal skills to interact with laboratory staff and other members of the health care team.

  • Manual Dexterity and Fine Motor Skills
  • Mobility
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Communication
  • Intellectual
  • Behavioral

Manual Dexterity and Fine Motor Skills

  1. Maneuver specimens at the gross bench with caution and care
  2. Control laboratory equipment (i.e. cover slipping slides, operating the cryostat, operating a bone saw)
  3. Hand – eye coordination with using blades and applying ink
  4. Perform repetitive motions (i.e. opening and closing specimen containers)


  1. Move freely and safely about a laboratory
  2. Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged standing at the grossing bench and bending at the cryostat
  3. Exerts up to 50 lbs. of force occasionally ( surgical pathology), over 150 lbs. occasionally (autopsy pathology), up to 20 lbs. frequently and up to 10 lbs. constantly to move objects


  1. Exhibit attention to detail
  2. Characterize and differentiate colors, odors and consistency of tissue types of specimens
  3. Operate a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color differences of microscopic specimens, to include hue, shading and intensity
  4. Read and comprehend text, numbers and images displayed in print and on computer monitors
  5. Ability to take clear, focused medical photographs


  1. ability to adapt with assistive devices as needed in order to communicate understandably in English (i.e. phone receivers, hearing aid, etc.)


  1. Ability to verbally communicate understandably in English
  2. Ability to communicate effectively in the written form of English
  3. Ability to read, comprehend and follow directions printed in English


  1. Possess the following intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression and critical thinking


  1. Provide technical and professional services while working within stresses of time constraints, emergency demands, unpleasant biological specimens and distracting environment
  2. Be willing to adapt to change
  3. Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment and situation and follow safety procedures in order to minimize risk to patients, self and nearby individuals
  4. Support and promote activities of fellow students and other health care professionals
  5. Exhibit honesty, compassion, ethical and responsible behaviors to include:
    1. being forthright about errors or uncertainty
    2. being able to critically evaluate self-performance
    3. being able to accept constructive criticism
    4. seeking professionally and personally enriching activities

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