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Introduction

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) is a profession of paramount importance, as they are the lifesavers working behind the scenes. They are responsible for collecting, storing, and analyzing biological samples for diagnostic purposes to facilitate physicians in detecting diseases and treating them. For such reasons, they with standard protocols and quality assurance to safeguard patient’s life and maintain physicians’ performance.
Similar to diversity in an MLT’s duties and responsibilities, there are various best medical laboratory technician jobs. These include Laboratory Supervisor (highest paid career option), Cytogenetic Technician, histotechnician, Pathologist Assistant, etc. This blog will discuss each profession to help you decide the perfect fit. 

Education insights for Medical Laboratory Technician

If you are looking for a promising career option, a medical laboratory technician is one of the best healthcare jobs one could pursue. The education requirement of a medical lab technician varies depending upon the path of course you choose. You can opt for a professional degree like a bachelor’s or associate’s degree or opt for courses; that typically last for 75 weeks. 

Bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of four years, and an Associate’s degree requires two years. Thus after a tenure of around 2-4 years, you will be eligible to start your career as MLT. This action might include training between attaining the degree and after completion. However, there is an in-depth need for attending multiple courses, as a 75-week course could not compensate for the professional training.

Whatever the course of action is, training is the pre-requisite as training gives a better experience to safeguard the patient’s life.

General confusion related to acquiring MLT as a career option

Here are some details of the myths that are common, and let’s break the ice. 

The medical laboratory technician profession has its share of myths and biases which might discourage some from pursuing it as a career. You will find some of the misconceptions below as we clarify them. 

Lab technicians only take samples.  

Taking body samples is one job they perform. Right after the sample is collected, more responsibilities start and are more crucial. Technicians perform diagnostic tests and workout reports to analyze and interpret the results to assist doctors in detecting the disease and prescribing the correct medicines. 

Working like robots with protocols

Lab technicians are assumed as humans working on repeated actions daily to work on the standard protocols set by an organization. It is a fact to some extent, as there is an in-depth need to carry out tasks according to standard procedures that are adopted worldwide. These protocols are standardized to reflect the need to ensure the safety and accuracy of working criteria.

Physicians and Lab Technicians do not Work Together in Harmony.

This statement is not true; to its cause. Physicians are at the top; when it comes to treating a patient, but technicians also play a vital role. They perform tests and offer an interpretation that is the foremost requirement of disease detection. Disease treatment is not exclusively dependent on signs and symptoms; but on what’s actually going on in the body. The hormone level disbalance, increased uric acid, etc., can only be detected via diagnostic tests. It concludes that the profession of a physician and lab technician are interdependent and cannot work on separate terms. 

Working like robots with protocols

Lab technicians are assumed as humans working on repeated actions daily to work on the standard protocols set by an organization. It is a fact to some extent, as there is an in-depth need to carry out tasks according to standard procedures that are adopted worldwide. These protocols are standardized to reflect the need to ensure the safety and accuracy of working criteria.

Progressive Career

Being a medical laboratory technician is one of the best healthcare jobs options from which you can choose. Medical laboratory technicians are not limited to a single post but offer promotion opportunities. Some posts are there, which are temporary, but mostly a person is appointed for a permanent position. The salary range is reasonable as the lowest limit earns around $30,920 and the upper limit $81,530 approx.; these statistics are observed for the top and bottom 10% of the earners. 

The primary element behind the progress is self-establishment and dedication. As said, slow and steady wins the race; the same applies to the medical laboratory technician. You can progress from the post of lead technician to a senior technician and eventually to a lab manager post. The greater the job post, the greater the responsibilities. Senior staff members often enjoy the roles like staff supervision, budgeting, etc.

Being at the front line of research

Lab technicians are bound not only to the sampling and conducting of diagnostic tests but also to perform research work in collaboration with team members and colleagues. 

Discovering new grounds and enlightening oneself with fresh and new skills are the prerequisites of being a medical laboratory technician. This process includes discussing new and trending problems and working out ways to solve them. The process requires continued growth and learning capability to surpass the issues faced by the world in recent times. 

New medicines, vaccines, and drugs introduced in the market are the gift of these laboratory technicians, who are constantly conducting research and developments in the field of science. Research is a complex process and requires in-depth indulgence like; conducting surveys, reading theories, attending seminars and workshops, and learning new skills. Some technicians are moved to a different lab environment to learn upgraded techniques and handling equipment.

Flexibility

Medical lab technology is not a rigid profession but rather a flexible choice. However, this point needs clarification. Like a conventional job, there is no bound of time like you have to work from 9-5, but you could work whenever it is convenient. There are deadlines, however, but how you overcome them is up to you.

Planning and efficient time management are the prerequisites to excel in this field. One could manage other job options with this profession as well. Say, for example, if you have a passion for teaching and want to do it part-time, go ahead. The flexibility can sometimes be exhausting around deadlines.

Skills Requirement 

The primary skills required to excel in a laboratory technician job are detailed below:

  • Critical thinking-to better analyzes the results and presents them to colleagues and the scientific community. 
  • Managing time- is a general skill required to excel in any field, specifically for a life-saving job like MLT.
  • Organization and communication skills- accurately arranging the samples, performing appropriate tests, and effectively communicating the results and findings with staff and medical personnel. 
  • Attention to minute details- as MLT is a critical job, thus minute details matter deeply. 

Conclusion 

Medical laboratory technician is a crucial profession when talking about the life sciences. MLT is the backbone of research and technology as it plays a vital role in diagnostics and medicine. Certain myths are associated with this career option: physicians are independent, and lab technicians work independently, but this is false, as doctors rely on the findings of an MT. The three best things about the profession are a progressive career, being the frontline researcher, and flexibility of operation and timings. In short, a career in MLT is a profitable option if one wants to serve humanity by working behind the scenes and assisting physicians.

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