medical laboratory technicians are professionals who work behind the scenes in healthcare organizations. these professional conduct scientific tests on body tissue, blood, or other bodily fluids to diagnose abnormalities. not only are these technicians well versed with medical laboratory equipment, but also have a thorough understanding of medicine. these technicians may be found working in medical labs and research centers. their input is crucial for physicians who use the findings to determine treatment plans for patients. as the healthcare industry is booming, the demand for medical laboratory technicians is rising as well. according to the us bureau of labor statistics (bls), the growth rate for this profession is much faster than average.
medical laboratory technician school
to become a medical lab technician, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in this field. the educational requirements may vary slightly from state to state. you could also choose to earn a certification in the field. many schools offer specialized training and degree programs in medical laboratory technology.
a degree program in medical technology is designed to provide students with extensive knowledge of lab procedures, role of technology in healthcare, and testing methods/practices. students will develop a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge, and will be required to participate in clinical training for skill development. some of the general courses covered in the program are:
students will undergo training in learning labs where they will practically apply research techniques, and this training provides students with exposure to equipment used in healthcare organizations. the program will help polish analytical skills that may be required.
before enrolling in medical lab technician schools, make sure you check the accreditation status of the school as well as the program. the national accrediting agency for clinical laboratory sciences (naacls) is among the leading organizations that oversee higher education courses being offered in this field.
in some states, medical laboratory technicians need to be licensed, certified, or registered. the minimum licensing requirements may vary from state to state. individuals may have to pass a licensing examination where their skills and knowledge are put to test. on the other hand, having a certification may boost career opportunities. organizations such as the american medical technologists or the american society for clinical pathology offer certification.
over 50% of medical lab technologists and technicians work in general and surgical hospitals. the career of these professionals may be demanding as they may be required to work with hazardous specimens. the job description may vary from place to place, but generally, these professionals conduct tests, analyze specimens and samples, operate equipment and computerized machinery, study all kinds of bodily fluid samples, log data, generate reports, and discuss findings with physicians. according to the bls, the median annual wage of medical laboratory technologist was $47,820 in 2012. with a fast growth rate, the demand and income level is likely to rise in the coming few years.