What Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Do?

With the improvement in the medical health care facilities, there has been a phenomenal increase in the average life span of a person. There has been a steep increase in the diagnostic facilities and this has also spawned an increase in the need of Medical Lab Technician. The scope for a Medical Lab Technician is bound to increase in the coming months and the career prospects are excellent for anyone who is opting for a career as a Medical Laboratory Technician. However before jumping into a career in this paramedical field, it is important that you have a firsthand knowledge of how it is accomplished.

What does a medical laboratory technician do?

This question may evoke a rather ambiguous answer since it depends upon the placement of employment. The basic and general answer to this question is that a medical laboratory technician who performs laboratory tests and procedures.

The medical laboratory technician has to clear a certificate program or associated degree where they learn the different aspects of the job. There are some who take the exam directly and become certified which states that they have obtained the necessary skills to potential employers. However such incumbents have to have a certain number of years associated with the paramedical field and must be able to furnish the appropriate proof in this effect.

One of the most important parts of the Medical Laboratory Technician certificate or diploma is to teach the incumbents how to keep themselves and their associates safe from accidental contamination from the infectious fluids which they would be collecting for analysis.

Clinical laboratory technologists play a very crucial part in the detection and diagnosis of any disease. With increasing burden on the Doctors, a need was felt for the outsourcing of some of the load on the doctors by having a separate component in the healthcare sector that can look into the Laboratory testing aspects. These important lacunas are filled by the Clinical Lab Technologists who take upon themselves the task of conducting different tests in the clinical laboratory. Clinical lab technologists are entrusted with many important tasks such as

  • Analyzing body fluids, and cells
  • Identify different bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms
  • Analyze the chemical content of body fluids such as CSF, Semen and urine
  • Testing the blood groups and "Rh" factor before transfusion
  • Testing the drug levels in the blood and the efficacy of the drugs
  • Preparing specimens for examination like tissue mounting for testing the nature and the malignancy if any
  • Identifying abnormal cells in blood and body fluids
  • Proficiency of operating microscopes and sophisticated laboratory equipment's

A medical technician prepares specimens of different body fluids for analysis and also performs a number of automated tests as well as manual tests. However they are not qualified to make any inference or assess the results which remain the sole jurisdiction of the doctors. However they stringently follow the instructions given for the tests.

The tests can include a wide range of tests such as:

  • Test for abnormalities in the blood and the body fluids
  • Efficacy of drugs
  • Blood type
  • The strain of Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Microorganisms
  • Sensitivity of organisms against different antibiotics

Most of these procedures are done by Medical Laboratory Technicians. Medical Laboratory Technician works with different equipments to analyze samples that have been given to them and this includes microscopes, cell counters, and a lot of automated and computer equipment that can do a lot of different tests at the same time. As more and more tests are becoming automated the importance of Medical Laboratory Technicians are increasing.


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