Medical lab technicians play essential roles in the health-care system by performing tests and analyzing results for countless patients. Specific steps are required for a person to become one of these working professionals. If this career is of interest to you, check out our list on how to become a professional medical lab technician.
Required Education and Training
The first step to becoming one of these working professionals is to obtain an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology. During your studies, you’ll learn how to perform various tests and procedures related to the field. You may also be required to complete a clinical internship as part of your education.
Once you have completed your associate’s degree, you must apply for certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). This organization offers academic and practical exams that you must pass to receive your certificate. The academic exam consists of two parts: written and oral. The written portion includes multiple-choice questions on medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and lab techniques. The oral part consists of an interview with a panel of experts in the medical lab technology field.
After obtaining your certification from the ASCP, you’ll be eligible to work as a medical lab technician in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and labs. Although most people who enter the field will work in hospital or clinic settings, there’s also an increasing number of medical lab technicians working in nontraditional environments such as pharmaceutical companies and research facilities.
A medical lab technician is responsible for conducting blood, tissue, and other bodily fluid tests to diagnose various medical conditions. They’re also responsible for analyzing the results of these tests to provide accurate diagnoses. In some cases, lab technicians work congruently with physicians by preparing specimens or assisting during surgeries.
In addition to having a solid foundation in the sciences, you’ll need to work independently and have excellent problem-solving skills. Effectively communicating with patients and other health-care professionals is also essential. Lastly, a great medical lab technician is timely and accurate with their work and results.
The job outlook for medical lab technicians is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical lab technicians is projected to grow 11 percent during this decade, which is quicker than the average for many other occupations. This growth is due in part to the increasing demand for diagnostic services. The importance of accurate health-care services has never been more important for society, so the job market is quite promising for aspiring technicians.
Understanding how to become a professional medical lab technician is essential for any individual interested in health care. A capable technician is among the most important positions in testing labs, and the career offers many financial and personal rewards.