Clinical analyst job description: the main functions

Article written by CEMP's team

Are you familiar with the clinical analyst job description? Throughout this article, we’re going to go through the details surrounding the work of these professionals, as well as providing a few tips on how to become one of them. Let’s go!


What are the functions of a clinical analyst?

A clinical analyst job description may vary depending on the type of laboratory where these professionals work, as well as the specific position they hold. However, it’s possible to cite some of the most common functions related to a clinical analyst job description:

  • Obtaining biological samples, that is, the samples on which the clinical analysis process will be carried out.
  • Ensuring the correct conservation of biological samples throughout the analytical process, as well as their traceability according to each applicable protocol.
  • Applying pre-analytical processing techniques, in order to prepare and condition biological samples for analysis.
  • Applying the corresponding analysis techniques, depending on each particular case. This may involve the following aspects: 
    • Applying hematological analysis techniques on the samples
    • Practicing microbiological analysis in samples and cultures
    • Applying immunological techniques to biological samples
    • Performing analysis of biochemical parameters (cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, uric acid, bilirubin, transaminases, among others)
    • Applying genetic analysis techniques to biological samples and cell cultures
  • Verifying the application of the appropriate protocols established during the analysis development
  • Evaluating the reliability of the results obtained during the analysis procedure
  • Communicating the analysis results according to suitable protocols
  • Checking the analytical equipment’s performance, as well as applying the necessary maintenance operations
  • Managing the clinical laboratory stock 
  • Identifying and evaluating potential risks in laboratory operations, adopting the necessary prevention and correction measures.

As you can see, the functions associated with a clinical analyst job description are really wide and varied. Of course, this does not imply that the same analyst should be in charge of all of them. Therefore, the specific functions associated with each job position will vary depending on each particular case and the operating standards of each laboratory.


The specialization of functions in clinical analysis

This variety of functions that we have just mentioned very often implies that clinical analysts specialize only in a certain type of task.

From a purely analytical perspective, it’s possible to mention at least the following specialties:

  • Genetic specialization. Clinical analysts specializing in genetics deal with tasks related to DNA, RNA, control of gene expression, nucleic acid hybridization techniques, mutations and polymorphisms, extraction of tissue or cell samples for genetic analysis, gene therapy, cancer, etc.
  • Parasitology specialization. In this case, the analyst focuses on issues such as parasitic immunology, prophylaxis, endoparasites, exoparasites, trematode infections, cestodes, nematodes, PCR design for parasite diagnosis, coproparasitology, serological testing, etc.
  • Biochemical specialization. A clinical analyst job description with a specialization in biochemistry includes aspects related to hematology, biochemical techniques, immunological techniques, and molecular biology techniques, among others.
  • Microbiology specialization. In this area, the clinical analyst is in charge of everything related to bacteriology, virology, parasitology and other aspects of microbiological analysis.
  • Cytology specialization. Here we include all analytical tasks related to obtaining and processing the different types of gynecological samples.


Career opportunities: where can I work as a clinical analyst?

Clinical analysts carry out their functions in all types of clinical laboratories, whether they are publicly or privately owned, both independently and linked to another institution.

Among others, we can mention the following possibilities:

  • Clinical diagnostic laboratories.
  • Laboratories specialized in clinical trials for the development of new drugs or treatments
  • Toxicology laboratories
  • Laboratories specialized in assisted reproduction
  • Forensic laboratories
  • Laboratories linked to an educational institution (such as universities)

However, you can also find a clinical analyst job description that is not related to work in laboratories, but dedicated to issues related to management or even sales. As an example, this would be the case of analysts who develop their career as sales representatives for companies in the pharmaceutical industry.


What studies lead to a career as a clinical analyst?

If you want to work as a clinical analyst and maximize your chances of getting a good job or advancing in your professional career, it is essential to receive adequate training.

For example, if you already have some prior training and want to specialize in clinical analysis or redirect your professional career, a good option would be to take a master’s degree in clinical analysis or another similar postgraduate degree (such as degrees devoted to specialization or expertise).

This kind of degree can also offer the option of becoming a specialist in one of the branches of clinical analysis that we have mentioned above: genetics, biochemistry, parasitology, microbiology, cytology, etc.

Regarding another completely different field, you could start your training through a Vocational Training title. 

In any case, whatever the option you choose, it is important to take into account some important issues before deciding:

  • First of all, make sure that the chosen study program meets your expectations, including the content that interests you the most. In addition to this, the course should be updated to include any new technique or procedure and, at the same time, respond to the demands of the industry.
  • It would be interesting if the educational institution you chose offered the opportunity to specialize in the many branches related to clinical analysis, according to your interests, so that you are able to go deeper into the techniques of that specialization.
  • It is convenient that the center offers you the opportunity to gain practical experience in clinical analysis laboratories and other companies in the industry. This would be a great way to get in touch with real-life conditions in laboratories, in addition to providing you with a first work experience that you could add to your resume.

In short, as you can see, the clinical analyst job description depends, to a large extent, on the professionals’ specialization, the specific job they perform and, of course, the type of laboratory in which they perform these functions.

If you are interested in this career path, do not hesitate to complete your training as soon as possible to start a long and satisfying career in a sector that is both dynamic and appealing.

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