What Exactly Does A Medical Laboratory Technician Do?
Many people are interested in entering the field of medicine, but can't afford the time and education it takes to become a full-fledged doctor. Many look into the field of medical laboratory technology as an alternative. But, what exactly does a medical lab technician do?
Medical laboratory technology is a combination of medicine and various fields of science. A laboratory technician performs lab tests in a wide variety of areas; blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, and microbiology to name a few. Medical laboratory technicians are on the forefront of new and continuing research into the absence, presence, extent, and causes of diseases. Just think, you could be working on the cure for cancer or AIDS. Medical laboratory technicians work in a variety of settings including; hospitals, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, public health facilities, and business in the health industry.
In addition to an interest in science and medicine a medical laboratory technician must be accurate, dedicated and skilled. They should be self-motivated, and take the initiative to do what must be done everyday. Most medical laboratory technicians are problem solvers and like challenge and responsibility.
What sort of education do you need to become a medical laboratory technician? While in high school you should have a solid foundation in the sciences: biology, chemistry, math and computer science. After graduation you'll need a combination of formal education plus clinical education in a medical laboratory technician (MLT) program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Your education will prepare you to enter a medical technician job directly out of school. You can even work part-time in a lab during school to earn extra money.
The Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology gives a national certification exam for those who have completed their medical laboratory education requirements. This certification represents a technician's ability to perform high quality laboratory tests. Certified medical laboratory technician may use the initials MLT after their name to show their proficiency.