What does a Medical Laboratory Technician do?

A medical laboratory technician typically works in a laboratory, performing diagnostic and other types of tests on people who have injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions. The job of a medical laboratory technician is demanding and necessitates both general and specialized knowledge.

The job description for a medical laboratory technician is fairly similar regardless of the type of laboratory in which they work, though the types of tests they perform on a regular basis often differ depending on the specific nature of their job. Medical tech jobs typically involve tasks such as preparing patient samples for examination, testing blood and other body fluids for the presence of bacteria and viruses, screening blood for diagnostic markers of disease, examining cells and tissues for signs of disease, and testing bacterial samples for antibiotic sensitivity.

The size of the lab in which an individual works is one factor that may distinguish these types of medical jobs. Someone working as a clinical laboratory technician in a smaller laboratory, for example, is more likely to have a more general job description and to perform several different types of tests on a daily basis. A medical laboratory technician in a large laboratory, on the other hand, is more likely to specialize in one or more types of diagnostic or analysis tests, or in a specific scientific field.

Medical laboratory technicians can specialize in a variety of fields. Microbiology focuses on the diagnosis of diseases caused bacteria, viruses, and parasites, whereas immunology looks for signs of immune function or dysfunction in patient samples. Hematology is the study of blood, and a technician in this field is typically responsible for testing patient blood samples for disease and blood disorders. Others specialize in histology or cytology, which involves looking for disease signs in tissues and cells.

A medical laboratory technician must possess certain skills and personality traits in order to succeed at their job, regardless of where they work or what specialty they choose. Excellent problem-solving and analytical abilities are critical. A clinical laboratory scientist’s ability to concentrate on repetitive tasks and follow strict protocols without losing focus, as well as good motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and good record-keeping skills, are all essential. Finally, the ability to multitask is essential because medical lab techs are frequently required to perform several different types of tasks at the same time.