Otherwise termed as medical laboratory technicians, MT’s are deliberately working in a medical facility to primarily assist and provide solid biochemical and biological evidences to diagnosing a client’s medical condition. These individuals are working in collaboratively with physicians and pathologists in providing a crucial diagnosis to a presented health problem. Typically, these individuals are performing their duties and responsibilities under the supervision of a medical technologist and receive instructions from physicians and pathologists.
Medical technicians operate, calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment. They also check these items for possible leaks or damages that might be the key to obtaining an erroneous finding. In addition, they also collect samples directly from patients when ordered by the physician or pathologist. Like any other medical personnel, medical technicians also work during odd hours and may be on-call during emergent cases. Since their responsibility covers handling hazardous items for sampling, adhering to safety protocols is essential to protect their personal health and wellness.
Career opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technicians are expected to increase by about 16% from 2008 to 2018. This data is based on the survey results of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment opportunities are spurred by two factors namely, population growth and the development of new diagnostic and laboratory procedures. Job openings for this type of job may be found on hospitals, laboratories, physician’s offices and universities. According to the report published in May 2010, the median annual salary of medical technicians was approximately $36,000, probably more. The digits are expected to increase for the following years.
How to become a medical technician?
Typically, certified medical technicians get their certification after obtaining a diploma or an associate’s degree. The study should consist of a course work specifically specializing to laboratory science which may cover the any of the following areas of knowledge:
- Anatomy and physiology
To provide hands on experience, clinical practice is often incorporated into a program where students are assigned to rotate in each specialty area for a period of time accordingly.
How to get an MT license and certificate?
Depending on the state, registration or licensing requirements are necessary to practice this profession in any institution. Matter of fact, in some states professional certifications are like advantage cards that increases a person’s chances of landing to the desired position and establishment. Certifications can be obtained from a number of professional organizations which includes the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel and the American Medical Technologists. Before getting the certification, applicants should meet the following requirements:
- Meet educational standards
- Pass the qualifying examination
Duties and Tasks
- Performs chemical analysis of samples from clients such as blood and urine. This task is done by the aid of a microscope or automatic analyzer to determine abnormalities or presence of disease.
- Set up and maintain the cleanliness of the equipment.
- Analyzes the outcome of tests and experiment to ensure conformity to specifications.
- Issues reports of analysis and recorded data using narratives, charts and graphs.
- Conducts medical research in controlling and treating a disease.
- Performs blood tests before transfusion and conducts blood counts.
- Specimen collection, isolation and identification.
- Works collaboratively with pathologists and physicians in determining a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
- Prepare vaccines and serums using safety laboratory protocols. They also test viruses for inactivity and sterility.