Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician
By an allied health world contributing writer
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A medical technician, commonly referred to as a clinical laboratory technician, may typically prepare specimens and perform manual tests or tests using automated analyzers. These professionals may be responsible for running routine lab tests used for diagnosis and treatment or prevention of disease. Medical technicians may traditionally work under the direct supervision of medical technologists.
What employment settings can clinical laboratory technicians work at?
Medical technicians may be employed at hospitals, diagnostic and medical laboratories, clinics, and sometimes large physician’s offices. They may be assigned a shift to work if employed in a hospital and if employed at a lab or doctor’s office medical technicians usually work regular daytime hours.
Are there different titles for this profession?
Clinical laboratory technicians are also commonly called medical technicians, medical lab technicians, or MLTs. This profession is not to be confused with Medical Technologists, commonly known as MTs or Clinical Lab Scientists. Medical Technologists may require to pursue a bachelor’s degree to practice, along with passing a national certification exam. Medical Technologists and Technicians may perform many of the same duties.
Medical Lab Assistant is also a different job than medical technicians. Medical Lab Assistants, commonly called clinical lab assistants, may not have to have any type of formal education. There are short, 4-6 month certificate programs these professions may attend but formal training is not required. Also, medical lab assistants may not require to become nationally certified. These professionals are traditionally paid less than medical technicians.
Specific job duties of Medical Technicians may include:
- Cleaning and setting up lab equipment.
- Conducting blood and urine chemical analyses through a microscope or automated analyzer. This is typically done to screen for disease or abnormalities.
- Developing reports of test data through the use of charts and graphs.
- Analyzing experiment results using electrical devices to ensure the specifications were adhered to.
- Examining cells for abnormalities.
- Scanning specimens for microorganisms.
- Performing blood counts and conducting blood tests to prepare them for transfusion.
- Discussing cell abnormalities with a pathologist.
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