Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

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ABOUT MEDICAL OR CLINICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

The medical profession relies heavily on those who work "behind the scenes." Although they are not as prominent to the public as nurses or doctors, medical laboratory technicians are an integral part of the medical and science community, preparing and performing tests to detect, analyze, diagnose and treat diseases.

This is a highly technical field that often requires the use of complex equipment, so if you are interested in being a lab technician, you should be able to use a computer and have the ability to work well with your hands.

You should also be able to stand for hours at a time, work under pressure, and pay close attention to detail. Accuracy in this work is vital to the correct diagnosis and treatment of patients, since analyses can be used to determine a match for a blood transfusion or to locate an abnormal cell in an otherwise healthy tissue sample.

Medical lab technicians usually work under the supervision of medical technologists and have contact with colleagues in the health professions, so good communication skills are a must. Whether working in a variety of areas within a clinical laboratory or specializing in one particular area every day, these professionals help improve the health and lives of their patients.

SNAPSHOT
Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.

Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.

Supervise or instruct other technicians or laboratory assistants.

Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.

Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.