Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technicians, also known as Clinical Laboratory Technicians, or Medical Technicians, play a key role in diagnosing, analyzing, finding, and treating patients. These skilled medical professionals work heavily with medical tests and diagnostics. This is a highly technical position, relying heavily of specialized medical equipment and computers and then carefully analyzing and interpreting the data collected. Medical Laboratory Technicians are often working with blood and other body fluids. In larger medical facilities or physician's practices they often specialize in a particular area, or they may be more general in smaller offices. A Medical Laboratory Technician may specialize in bacteria and other microorganisms, phlebotomy (drawing blood), pathology, or other areas.
To become a Medical Laboratory Technician, you will usually need to attend a program either offered by a community or junior college as an Associate's Degree, or complete a certificate program offered by a hospital, vocational or technical school, or the armed forces. Every so often a Medical Laboratory Technician is actually trained on the job. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences actually accredits nearly 500 certification programs for medical/clinical laboratory technicians. There are other accredited programs for specific areas of the Medical Laboratory Technician field. Some states will require you to also be licensed or registered to work in a lab.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a wealth of great job prospects for Medical Laboratory Technicians, and faster than average growth in the field. The median annual income for Medical Laboratory Technicians was $35,380 in 2008, with the highest 10% earning $53,520. This job is expected to grow 16% by 2018.
Medical Laboratory Technicians work most often in hospitals, but they also work in laboratories, doctor's offices, and all other outpatient medical offices. Their shifts may vary, sometimes working nights and holidays, or rotating shifts. They often spend most of their time analyzing the data the collect or operating the diagnostic machines and computers that allow them to gather that data.
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