Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

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ABOUT MEDICAL OR CLINICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST CAREERS
Video transcript

When a doctor orders a series of tests on a patient, chances are that those tests will be performed by medical and clinical laboratory technologists. It is the job of these professionals to examine and analyze blood, urine, and other body fluids, tissue, and cells.

Using powerful microscopes and other equipment, they look for bacteria, parasites, and abnormal cells. They also analyze blood cholesterol levels and type and cross-match blood samples for transfusions. In larger labs, like those at many hospitals, technologists tend to specialize in blood work, microbiology, or some other area.

Supervising medical and clinical technicians may also be part of the job. A bachelor's degree in medical technology or a life science plus an internship is generally necessary for this position. The work can be stressful, especially when you must perform a complex test perfectly in a limited amount of time. But it is also satisfying to know that you are providing the vital information a doctor needs to save a life or to cure a disease.

SNAPSHOT
Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
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

Develop, standardize, evaluate, or modify procedures, techniques, or tests used in the analysis of specimens or in medical laboratory experiments.

Supervise, train, or direct lab assistants, medical and clinical laboratory technicians or technologists, or other medical laboratory workers engaged in laboratory testing.

Analyze samples of biological material for chemical content or reaction.

Collect and study blood samples to determine the number of cells, their morphology, or their blood group, blood type, or compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques.

Conduct chemical analysis of body fluids, including blood, urine, or spinal fluid, to determine presence of normal or abnormal components.

Set up, clean, and maintain laboratory equipment.

Establish or monitor quality assurance programs or activities to ensure the accuracy of laboratory results.

Operate, calibrate, or maintain equipment used in quantitative or qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers, calorimeters, flame photometers, or computer-controlled analyzers.

Provide technical information about test results to physicians, family members, or researchers.

Enter data from analysis of medical tests or clinical results into computer for storage.

Analyze laboratory findings to check the accuracy of the results.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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.
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.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
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.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.