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What Is a Laboratory Consultant?

Laboratory consultants may work at blood banks.
One role of a laboratory consultant is to testify in court, when necessary.
A laboratory consultant placing a test tube in a centrifuge in a lab.
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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2014
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A laboratory consultant is an important occupation in the scientific medical field. The position is also sometimes referred to as a clinical laboratory consultant. There are bachelor's, master's and doctorate level laboratory consultant positions in various locations and types of positions. The level of responsibility of a consultant is directly related to his level of expertise, education and experience. The more education and experience that a consultant has, the more responsibilities she will be given.

A laboratory consultant can work in a variety of professional locations, and a consultant’s responsibilities usually vary from location to location. Some laboratory consultants work in blood banks, while others have responsibilities in tissue banks, health departments, hospitals or research institutes. Regardless of the exact type of location of where a consultant works, the basic job description is usually the same. Advanced level consultants can work in any type of laboratory environment; however, each person is sure to have a certain area in which they are an expert.

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Travel is a large part of any type of consultant’s job in any field, not just the science and medical professions. A laboratory consultant travels to the same type of place over and over again in different locations. The main job of a clinical laboratory consultant is to conduct on-site inspections of laboratories, and to make sure the locations are following all of the set rules and regulations. The labs that a laboratory consultant visits often have different functions. These labs can be located in hospitals, physician’s offices, blood banks, tissue banks, colleges, universities and research institutes.

A consultant conducts a variety of assessments to ensure that each specific laboratory that is visited is in compliance with local, state and federal guidelines. Special investigations may also be assigned to a person who is an advanced level consultant. This person usually will have an advanced education and experience level. The same person could also assist agencies with the creation of laboratory regulations and guidelines.

Testifying in court proceedings is another common job-related task for any laboratory consultant. The laboratory consultant’s testimony can be as a result of an investigation or compliance check at any lab. Consultants are important to such court proceedings because they are considered experts in the field of laboratory operations in every type of environment.

Becoming a laboratory consultant starts with the right degree program. Universities and colleges around the country offer bachelor's, master's and doctorate level programs in clinical laboratory consultation. These programs are often paired with the right internship programs that give every student the hands-on experience that is necessary for the job.

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