Consumer Information

What You Should Know About Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners and Their Services


Who are clinical laboratory technologists?

Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners are clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians and certified histological technicians who work in licensed clinical laboratories and practice clinical laboratory technology.

Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners are an essential part of the team of health care professionals. They perform tests and procedures on all bodily fluids and tissue that are critical to the diagnostic process in determining health and disease. They also have a critical role in determining the nature of substances that are used by bioterrorists.


What tests and procedures do they do in daily work?

They perform microbiological, virological, serological, chemical, immunohematological, hematological, biophysical, cytogenetical, cytological or histological procedures and examinations and any other test or procedure conducted by a laboratory, as it is defined in the public health law, on material derived from the human body which provides information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a disease or assessment of a human medical condition.


What credentials do New York licensed Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners have?

A Clinical Laboratory Technologist must have received an education, including a bachelor's degree, or higher, in clinical laboratory technology from a program registered by the department or determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent, or have received a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, or the physical sciences or the substantial equivalent and also have received an advanced certificate from an accredited clinical laboratory technology program or a program determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent.

A Cytotechnologist must have received an education, including a bachelor's degree, or higher, in cytotechnology from a program registered by the department or determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent, or have received a bachelor's degree in the biological, chemical or physical sciences, or the substantial equivalent and also have received an advanced certificate from an accredited cytotechnology program or a program determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent.

A Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician must have received an education, including an associate's degree, or higher, from an approved clinical laboratory technician program registered by the department or determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent.

A Certified Histological Technician must have received an education, including an associate's degree, or higher, from an approved histological technician program registered by the department or determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent, or have received an associate's degree that includes a minimum number of credit hours in the sciences and received appropriate clinical education in a histological technician program approved by the department or a program determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent;

Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners must pass a general examination as a clinical laboratory technologist, cytotechnologist, certified clinical laboratory technician, or certified histological technician. In addition, they must have good moral character, as determined by the Department.


Have all Clinical Laboratory Technology Practitioners Met the Education and Examination Requirements?

No. This new law provided "grandparenting" provisions to enable persons who had been employed in these professions for specific numbers of years and were in good standing to be licensed with various educational or experience backgrounds and without examination. In addition, the law and the Regulations of the Commissioner provide for restricted licenses as clinical laboratory technologists in five areas of practice, and also limited licenses which expire 9/1/13, to enable persons who meet specific criteria, such as licensure in another state, to complete additional education or examination requirements for licensure in New York State. These provisions are explained on this site.


How will I know if the person providing my health care is a clinical laboratory technology practitioner licensed and registered to practice in New York?

In facilities regulated by the Department of Health, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, licensees must wear identifying badges that list their name. Make sure you see this badge. A New York State licensed clinical laboratory technology practitioner's badge should list their full name with one of the following titles:

  • Clinical Laboratory Technologist
  • Cytotechnologist
  • Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Certified Histological Technician

In addition, the registration certificate that is issued by the State Education Department must be maintained by such facilities for inspection by the public on request.

Licensed clinical laboratory technology practitioners who are employed in clinical laboratories and all other settings that are required to employ licensed practitioners must make certain that their registration certificates are displayed for the public to view. If these cannot be posted in a location where they can be easily seen, a notice should be posted informing the public where they are located and how to see them immediately on request.

You may verify a license with the Office of the Professions (see the "Verify a License" section of this brochure).


Does everyone who performs clinical laboratory technology services have to be licensed?

No. The law provided exemptions for certain professionals and laboratories that provide these services, which include:

  • any person licensed or otherwise authorized within this state to practice medicine, or as a physician assistant or specialist assistant, dentist, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, respiratory therapist or respiratory therapy technician, midwife, nurse, or a person licensed to practice pursuant to Article 35 of the Public Health Law, provided, however, that no such person shall use the titles licensed laboratory technologist, cytotechnologist, or certified laboratory technician, certified histological technician unless licensed or certified under Article 165 of the Education Law; or
  • clinical laboratory technology practitioners employed by the United States government or any bureau, division, or agency thereof, while in the discharge of the employee's official duties; or
  • clinical laboratory technology practitioners engaged in teaching or research, provided that the results of any examination performed are not used in health maintenance, diagnosis or treatment of disease and are not added to the patient's permanent record; or
  • students or trainees enrolled in approved clinical laboratory technology education programs provided that these activities constitute a part of a planned course in the program, that the persons are designated by a title such as intern, trainee, or student, and the persons work directly under the supervision of an individual licensed or exempt pursuant to a law;
  • persons employed by a clinical laboratory to perform supportive functions not related to the direct performance of laboratory procedures or examinations; or
  • a director of a clinical laboratory.

Do I have a right to access the results of my clinical laboratory tests and procedures?

Except in certain limited circumstances, you have a right to access the results of your clinical laboratory tests and procedures. Generally, the results of tests and procedures are available directly from your health care practitioner rather than from the licensed clinical laboratory technology practitioner. You can, however, obtain a copy of the laboratory test results directly from the laboratory if you have the written consent of the health care practitioner who has ordered the laboratory procedures.

Section 576-b of the Public Health Law provides that some specific tests can be ordered directly by a person from a laboratory. The laboratory may provide the results directly to the person requesting the test. Information on these tests may be obtained from the New York State Department of Health.


How can I find out where my tests and procedures will be done or processed?

If you want to know where your tests and procedures will be done or processed, ask the hospital, laboratory, or other legitimate provider of clinical laboratory technology services for this information.


Do I have the right to request that my tests and procedures be done by a person who is licensed?

Yes, but there are some settings where licensure is not required based on statutory exemptions, such as physician office laboratories, or other settings which send specimens to other jurisdictions where licensure is not required. You may have to consult with the laboratory to determine this. You have the right to request a laboratory that requires licensure for their employees. If you want to make sure that your test or procedure is performed by a licensed individual, discuss this in advance with the health care practitioner who has ordered the test or with the laboratory, as appropriate.


Are phlebotomists required to be licensed in New York State?

No, phlebotomists are not required to be licensed in New York State. Phlebotomists may collect blood and receive urine samples from patients, but may not perform any tests or procedures with these samples. Phlebotomists take or send specimens to the laboratories that will do all tests and other procedures, prepare and send a report of their findings to the authorized health care practitioner who will use them in rendering a diagnosis and recommending treatment.


Verifying a New York License

New York clinical laboratory technology practitioners must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional's name, address, and dates of the registration period. Clinical laboratory technology practitioners must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual's license and registration on this site.

Last Updated: September 9, 2009