Everything about Medical laboratory technician is made easy. Medical laboratory science is among the many specialties in the medical field concerned with medical laboratory analysis.
The ones that specialize in this field are called medical laboratory technicians or clinical laboratory technicians.
In our update today we shall be giving our readers a rundown on how to become a medical laboratory technician, reasons to become a medical laboratory technician, among many other related details of medical laboratory science.
Who is a Medical Laboratory Technician?
A medical laboratory technician can be simply put as a medical expert who works in the lab to analyze biological specimens.
They also collect body tissues, substances, and other specimens to determine findings which are later submitted to other medical fields.
The technicians and the lab technologists perform tests based on the request of the doctor or other healthcare professionals.
Their role in the medical field is so vast that you can always see them in clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, labs, diagnostics centers, etc. If you are looking at a healthcare career where you will not meet the patient, a Medical Lab technician might just be what you need.
How to Become a Medical Lab Technician
Medical laboratory science remains an integral part of medical courses. It forms an off-the-patient room powerhouse that helps in arriving and making good medical decisions.
High School Diploma: Similar to other courses in the university, a high school diploma is compulsory for one to enroll and study Medical Lab sciences. If you intend to study medical courses you will have to ace your grades, especially in sciences like Biology, physics, chemistry, etc.
A GPA of 3.0 is enough to get accepted for Med Lab in many schools.
Obtain a bachelor’s degree: To get certified and become a Med lab technologist, you must obtain a graduate degree from an accredited institution. While some might opt for a general science course, those that are decisive about becoming medical lab technicians go for a med lab science program where they are immersed in the skills, knowledge, and technical know-how in the field of medical laboratory sciences.
There are other associate degrees associated with the bachelor’s degree which is necessary to scale the final certification exam. This stage is where they are introduced to some clinical experiments, practicals, a series of internships, and mentoring in the labs and hospitals.
Work Experience: In as much as you must have obtained a sound level of training and skills, it is equally important you work and get mentored in Med Lab sciences. Though it is not mandatory to gain work experience before you get licensed to practice, it remains important for a sound knowledge of the field.
Earn your Certification: To earn your certificate, you will have to pass the licensing exam of the accredited bodies and regulatory authorities. Their accreditation will further validate your MLS degree and allow you to practice and apply for jobs.
Medical Lab Technician Jobs/Career Opportunities and Outlook.
Because of the vastness of medical laboratory science, it tends to expose a wide variety of opportunities for its graduates.
Certified med lab technicians can work in hospitals, clinics, diagnostics firms, private consultancy among other healthcare and health-related jobs.
The Job is expected to grow with an average of 24,000 new positions by 2029.
Reasons to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician
To provide more clarity on the many ways graduates of MLS can carve a niche, we have listed some of the reasons that can propel one to become a Medical Laboratory Technician.
Flexibility: If there is anything a worker earnestly craves in his/her workplace it is flexibility. Med lab technicians, by virtue of the nature of their workplace, can schedule their work shifts to fit into their current needs and endeavors.
No Direct Contact: Not every healthcare career requires direct patient care. Although they support medical professionals, medical lab techs work behind the scenes. In fact, you may never come in contact with patients at all.
Medical lab technicians use high-tech equipment daily to test samples of the human body for diagnosis. For science enthusiasts, and those that love technology and healthcare, a medical lab tech career is a perfect mix of all three fields.
Easy Entry: Entering the workforce as a medical lab technician is pretty easy. Through a Medical Laboratory Technician program, you can be ready for employment in not less than two years.
Employment Growth: MLT careers are booming across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate is projected to grow by 15% between now and 2024, much faster than average. The increase makes finding the perfect job easier.
With the increase in demand for Medical Laboratory Technicians, we have taken it up as a platform to discuss some areas of the profession a good number of us need clarity on.
In our content today, we shall have an in-depth discussion on Lab Technician salary, Lab Technician Course, Lab Technician qualification, Lab Technician Job description, Lab Technician course as well as Lab Technician program.
Lab Technician Salary
Lab Technicians earn well above average salaries. Lab technicians earn enough for their time in the lab because of their off the ward and non-patient contact job.
Technicians earn as much as $20.04 per hour. In addition to the basic salary, lab technicians can equally work as consultants, tutors, and other medical lab-related areas while also keeping their basic salary.
Averagely MLT salaries are pegged at $58,899 annually, which can considerably rise as a result of the length of experience, recommendations, and certifications.
Lab Technician Course
The course list of lab technicians is so vast comprising many areas and specializations. Through our research associates, we have been able to make a list of a good number of courses technicians will have to immerse themselves in during the duration of their program.
- First Term
- BASIC LAB SKILLS
- QA LAB MATH
- GEN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY
- INTRO TO BIOCHEMISTRY
- COLLEGE 101
- Second Term
- BLOOD BANK
- BASIC IMMUNOLOGY CONCEPTS
- BASIC HEMATOLOGY
- WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
- Third Term
- INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY
- INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
- Fourth Term
- CLINICAL CHEMISTRY
- ADVANCED HEMATOLOGY
- CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY
- ADVANCED MICROBIOLOGY
- Fifth Term
- CLINICAL EXPERIENCE 1
- CLINICAL EXPERIENCE 2
- CLINICAL EXPERIENCE 3
- MLT SEMINAR
- INTRO TO MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS
Lab Technician Qualification
To become a lab technician, one will need to bag a series of qualifications and degrees from accredited institutions and regulatory bodies.
The least educational requirement expected of a lab technician is an Associate Degree which includes lots of coursework, experiments, and other additional programs.
Licensure certification programs vary by state, but most require a minimum educational requirement, a continuing education requirement, and a licensing fee.
A certificate can cover the entire field or be limited to a particular specialty, such as that required for phlebotomy or blood draw. Certification requires formal education and passing an exam, just like licensing.
Lab Technician Job Description
Laboratory technicians make up the backbone of scientific research labs. They conduct most of their work in laboratories, either alone or with a team of scientists. Technicians may work in forensics, health, or manufacturing.
If a laboratory technician works in a medical environment, they might be analyzing body fluids or tissues, running blood tests, or examining cells. If they are employed by a food manufacturer, they might be testing food samples for contamination.
Roles/Duties of a Medical Laboratory Technician
- Conducting and supporting scientific investigations and experiments
- Arranging, organizing, setting up, and undertaking controlled experiments and trials
- Recording the analysis of data.
- Demonstrating procedures
- They collect, prepare and test samples.
- They ensure the maintenance and full sterility of equipment.
- Ensure full technical support
- Work and submit reports to senior colleagues.
- They present full reports and reviews of all lab outcomes.
- Keeping up to date with relevant scientific and technical developments.
Who can employ a Lab Technician?
Like we said earlier, the role of a lab technician in modern medicine crosses beyond the walls of the hospital or clinic lab.
They are employed in other business enterprises where their knowledge in laboratory science is equally needed.
Below is a list of typical employers of Medical Laboratory Technicians
- Environmental agencies
- Specialist research organizations or consultancies
- Hospitals and clinics
- The Civil Service
- Water companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Chemical companies
- Food and drink companies
Lab Technician Program
The Lab Technician program is the program for you if you find research exciting and like the thought of working in a lab. The program is packed with courses that help you acquire the intermediate knowledge and skills required to work in a clinical laboratory.
As a medical lab technician, you will provide clinicians with the critical information necessary for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a wide variety of diseases.
Below are what you will learn in the Lab Technician program
- Collation and processing of biologic specimens for analysis.
- Perform analytical tests on blood, body fluids, and tissues.
- You will equally learn how to recognize pre-analytical and analytical variables in laboratory testing.
- Monitor quality performance and control.
- Perform preventative and corrective maintenance on laboratory instruments.
- Maintain professional conduct in communication with patients, health care professionals, and the public.
At the end of the program, graduates are awarded an associate of applied science degree as a Medical Laboratory Technician and will be eligible to take the national certification exam.
The path toward getting certified as a Medical Laboratory Technician has definitive steps which must be followed.
Anyone skipped will affect the positive outcome of your studies adversely. Ensure you identify with accredited institutions with the modern advanced technology required in modern medicine.
Medical Laboratory Science is vast and at such presents lots of opportunities both in the medical and outside the medical fields for professionals in it.
A good number of people want to become Nurses and Doctors. However, if you’re searching for a rewarding healthcare career that doesn’t require hands-on patient care, becoming a medical lab technician might be a great option for you.
As the doctor is saving lives in the ward and theatres, the lab technicians are providing support with lab analysis and results to help draw logical healthcare conclusions. Therefore, they remain an integral part of general healthcare.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Question)
How long does it take to become a medical laboratory technician? With an associate degree, you can become a Med Lab Technician in less than 2 years.
Are lab technicians paid well? Medical Laboratory Technicians might not earn as much as the nurses and doctors but they are paid well enough for their time in the lab.
Is MLT in demand? There is currently a surge in the demand for Med Lab Scientists. Which has been predicted to rise considerably high soon. The number of jobs is projected to rise by 15% in 2024.
Is a medical lab technician a good career? Medical Lab technicians earn well above average and it is actually one of the medical careers that do not involve contact with patients. Therefore, on a general scale, it is actually a good starting point for a good career in addition to the growth projection.
Is Lab Technician a Degree Course? Lab Technician Course is primarily an undergraduate course, it can be joined after passing 12th in science stream.
Students have the option of doing diploma or degree programs to become medical lab technicians. The diploma program is known as DMLT (Diploma in Medical Lab Technician).
Which Medical Lab Technician course is the best? A Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology is the best because it exposes students to a wide variety of areas in the profession.
Which is best OTT or MLT? If you want a relatively easy medical profession, we advise you go for MLT. But, if you want a place where you can be more integrally involved and shoulder much responsibility, go for OTT.
Is Laboratory Technician a Good Job? Laboratory technicians earn an above-average salary, with little risk involved.
The profession also has a high future growth projection. Therefore, it is a good place to start a medical career.