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Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Career

Career Description

Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

What Job Titles Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Might Have

  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant)
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Do

  • 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.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
  • Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
  • Supervise or instruct other technicians or laboratory assistants.
  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
  • Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
  • Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
  • Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
  • Cut, stain, and mount tissue samples for examination by pathologists.
  • Perform medical research to further control or cure disease.
  • Test raw materials, processes, or finished products to determine quality or quantity of materials or characteristics of a substance.
  • Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Need to Learn

  • 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.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $38,950

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.