Medical Laboratory Technician’s work in all areas of the clinical laboratory including blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, histology and microbiology. They perform a full range of laboratory tests – from simple prenatal blood tests, to more complex tests to uncover diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and cancer. They are also responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results, and reporting laboratory findings to pathologists and other physicians. Some States require laboratory personnel to be licensed or registered.
Licensure of technologists often requires a bachelor’s degree and the passing of an exam, but requirements vary by State and specialty. Many employers prefer applicants who are certified by a recognized professional association. Employers seek medical laboratory personnel with good analytical judgment and the ability to work under pressure. Technologists in particular are expected to be good at problem solving. Close attention to detail is also essential for laboratory personnel because small differences or changes in test substances or numerical readouts can be crucial to a diagnosis.
Manual dexterity and normal color vision are highly desirable, and with the widespread use of automated laboratory equipment, computer skills are important. The average medical laboratory technician salary in America is $40,839 annually. The professionals working in universities and research centers get around $34,000 while the ones working in labs and healthcare services get $31,000 to $33,700 annually. Fresh into the field I should get about $29,000. The benefits of the field are medical, dental, and 403b.
The usual requirement for an entry-level position as a medical laboratory technologist is a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or one of the life sciences; however, it is possible to qualify for some jobs with a combination of education and on-the-job and specialized training. Universities and hospitals offer medical technology programs. Bachelor’s degree programs in medical technology include courses in chemistry, biological sciences, microbiology, mathematics, and statistics, as well as specialized courses devoted to knowledge and skills used in the medical aboratory. Many programs also offer or require courses in management, business, and computer applications. Laboratories usually are well lighted and clean; however, specimens, solutions, and reagents used in the laboratory sometimes produce fumes. Laboratory workers may spend a great deal of time on their feet. Hours of clinical laboratory technologists and technicians vary with the size and type of employment setting. In large hospitals or in independent laboratories that operate continuously, personnel usually work the day, evening, or night shift and may work weekends and holidays.
Laboratory personnel in small facilities may work on rotating shifts, rather than on a regular shift. In some facilities, laboratory personnel are on call several nights a week or on weekends, in case of an emergency. Medical laboratory technologist’s jobs are mainly in hospitals. The rest of the jobs are in offices of physicians and in clinical and diagnostic laboratories. Rapid job growth and excellent job opportunities are expected. Most jobs will continue to be in hospitals, but employment will grow rapidly in other settings, as well. Technicians can advance and become technologists through additional education and experience.
Technologists may advance to supervisory positions in laboratory work or may become chief medical or clinical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers in hospitals. Manufacturers of home diagnostic testing kits and laboratory equipment and supplies also seek experienced technologists to work in product development, marketing, and sales. Companies offering employment would be hospitals, the military, doctors’ offices, diagnostic labs, and universities. Three colleges that offer a degree in medical laboratory technician are Dalton state, the university of Hawaii, and DeVry.
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