Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description
The medical laboratory technician’s duties involve collecting samples from patients for the purpose of testing.

This post provides complete information on the medical laboratory technician job description and career, to help you learn the duties and responsibilities they perform.

It also shows how to become a medical laboratory technician, the requirements you need to meet to be hired for the role, and the various careers you can get into with a medical laboratory technician work experience.

Please, continue reading:

What Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Do?

The medical laboratory technician job description entails assessing, diagnosing, and treating, and following-up on patients.

It also involves performing lab tests, such as urinalysis, blood typing, and cell counts; cytology and culture tests.

Medical laboratory technicians are also responsible for compiling results of tests to provide information to physicians for the treatment of patients.

They process samples for testing through the use of a microscope, analyzer, or other medical devices.

The medical laboratory technician’s role also involves measuring results and analyzing the data from tests that have been performed on tissue samples.

It also includes observing test results and attempting to draw conclusions based on the findings.

It is the duty of the medical laboratory technician to write reports about test results and make recommendations for further testing or treatment to the patient’s physician or other health care professionals when warranted.

Another duty of the medical laboratory technician is performing lab procedures, such as preparing blood samples.

They also perform chemical analysis, extracting DNA, and performing cytology.

Medical laboratory technicians may be involved with life science research, clinical trials, or other types of research on various aspects of the lab work that they perform.

They perform varieties of tasks, such as processing samples, making observations, and recording data.

Furthermore, the medical laboratory technician may also be responsible for cleaning and sterilizing equipment.

And also for maintaining logs, managing inventory, and ensuring accuracy of the work performed.

More Medical Laboratory Technician Duties

They may serve as a member of an on-call team during emergencies or other situations where their services are needed.

Participating in education and outreach to other health care providers in the area of lab testing is another task of medical laboratory technicians.

Medical laboratory technicians may also be required to teach students or others who are interested in medical fields, such as medical assisting or nursing.

They may also conduct research on topics related to their field of study.

It is the duty of the medical laboratory technician to ensure the maintenance of equipment and appliances.

They ensure confidentiality and security to protect patient’s privacy and bodily integrity.

A medical laboratory technician ascertains that the records and reports are accurate.

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description Sample/Example/Template

Here are key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that make up the job description of a medical laboratory technician:

  • Prepare specimens for analysis
  • Record test results and other data
  • Operate laboratory instruments
  • Prepare reagents, solutions, and media for laboratory tests
  • Gather patient information to conduct tests on patients, such as age and sex; organ problems; diseases acquired or inherited; level of physical activity
  • Check if any drugs or alcohol are present in the blood sample
  • May request additional specimens if initial examination is inconclusive
  • Interpret test results and report findings to doctors or nurses
  • Give immunizations to patients using approved vaccines
  • Prepare equipment and work areas before tests are performed; keep work area clean and free of contaminants, such as broken glass or spilled chemicals
  • May train and work under supervision of a professional medical technologist.

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description for Resume

If you are making a new resume or CV as someone with some work experience as a medical laboratory technician, or one who is presently working in that role, then you can apply the sample medical laboratory technician job description above in making the Professional Experience part of your resume.

By highlighting the duties and responsibilities of a medical laboratory technician from the above sample job description in the Professional Experience section of your resume, you will be showing that you have been successful working as a medical laboratory technician.

This information can very well boost the effectiveness of your resume, especially if the new position that you are seeking requires some working experience as a medical laboratory technician.

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Requirements: Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge for Career Success

Here are major requirements you may need to fulfill to be hired as a medical laboratory technician:

  • Must have a high school diploma and acceptable accuracy record
  • Possess at least 1 year of pre-medical education
  • Must be a U.S citizen, if not, should work legally in the country for at least 3 years
  • Pass a criminal background check and drug screen test before being hired
  • Must be able to read, write, speak English well enough so that they can communicate with doctors, nurses, and other personnel involved in patient care. This will also enable them to understand medical procedures required in laboratory tests
  • Possess valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to obtain a medical laboratory technician certification and a Laboratory Supervisor Certification
  • Medical laboratory technicians must have and maintain relevant certifications
  • Must be able to pass a physical/medical examination given by the company where he/she will be working
  • Possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to work with people of different ethnic or social backgrounds
  • Medical laboratory technicians must have computer skills so that he/she can perform their job tasks
  • Ability to work independently and also in a group environment
  • Must be comfortable working in a clinical setting since they may sometimes work with patients one-on-one.

Medical Laboratory Technician Salary

The average salary of a medical laboratory technician in the United States is $61,923 per year.

Medical laboratory technicians are sometimes called clinical laboratory technicians, or simply laboratory technicians.

The highest paying cities foe these professionals are: Chicago, IL, $67,335; San Diego, CA, $66,540; Atlanta, GA, $65,176; Houston, TX, $63,300; and Phoenix, AZ, $63,162 per year.

There are currently over 207,650 laboratory technicians working in the United States. 

Women make up 46.7% of all laboratory technicians, while men make up 53.3%.

An employed laboratory technician is 43 years old on average.

White laboratory technicians are the most common ethnicity (57.3%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (15.7%), Asian (12.8%), and Black or African American (11.3%). 

In New York, NY, laboratory technicians are in high demand.

medical laboratory technician career
A medical laboratory technician career can lead to other job positions, such as laboratory general manager, hospital director, and healthcare consultant.

Medical Laboratory Technician Career Opportunities

A medical laboratory technician can take their career into one or more roles, like:

  1. Laboratory General Manager

A laboratory general manager is someone who oversees the operation of a medical laboratory; works with a team to ensure procedures are performed in an effective, efficient manner, and communicates the results of tests to scientists, health care providers and other staff members.

2. Hospital Director

A hospital director is in charge of a hospital’s laboratory department. This person is responsible for hiring and supervising all laboratory personnel, including taking care of quality assurance and safety.

Laboratory directors are sometimes responsible for the overall operation of the lab as well.

3. Healthcare Consultant

A healthcare consultant has to work in a hospital setting. They are in charge of designing, implementing, and evaluating health care facilities’ healthcare policies and procedures.

These professionals make sure that all aspects of the hospital meet quality standards.

Healthcare consultants also advise physicians on their facilities and assist them with improving their systems.

Healthcare consultants have to use effective communication skills, in order to get the data they need.

4. Laboratory Supervisor

A laboratory supervisor makes sure that all workers in the lab are doing their job and working safely.

These professionals also train newly hired laboratory workers and follow up on their results.

5. Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist uses epidemiology to prevent illness, injury and death by studying how diseases spread.

They work with the health department, a hospital or a private organization to study how diseases spread in order to control infections and communicable diseases.

More Medical Laboratory Technician Career Opportunities

6. Oncologist

An oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer. They help to diagnose, treat, and control the growth of cancerous cells, such as cancerous tumors.

They also monitor a patient’s response to treatment and anticipate how the body will react to certain medications and other treatments.

7. Dental Laboratory Technician

A dental laboratory technician is responsible for maintaining an operating room and sterile working area that is well lit, clean, and capable of producing sterile specimens for the dental laboratory.

Dental laboratory technicians also serve as operators, clean the sterilizers, perform autoclave temperatures, and ensure proper ventilation.

They also keep records of instruments used in the laboratory.

8. Medical Laboratory Technologist

A medical laboratory technologist is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing samples in a medical laboratory.

They also interpret results and write reports.

A medical laboratory technologist must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of biology, chemistry or related science.

These professionals must also have passed certain exams to be able to work as a laboratory technician.

In New York, NY, laboratory technicians are in high demand.

9. Occupational Health and Safety Technician

An occupational health and safety technician is responsible for ensuring that a workplace is safe and healthy.

They are responsible for conducting inspections to assess health and safety hazards.

10. Food Laboratory Technician

A food laboratory technologist checks food products for food safety and quality.

This includes checking the appearance, consistency, weight, color, taste, smell, and taste of the contents of various products checked.

Food technologists also prepare food samples for testing in a laboratory.

Challenges faced by Medical Laboratory Technician on the Job

A medical laboratory technician could face the following challenges in their job:

  1. Frequently Short Staffed

Medical laboratory technicians usually work alone in the laboratory, which are often short staffed.

They are often assigned a larger share of the workload than other workers.

This may be due to low employee performance, lack of workers, and lack of interest in their job.

For example, medical laboratory technicians may be assigned the task of performing toxicology tests on specimens without adequate personnel or equipment for this purpose.

Medical laboratory technicians are expected to work at a reasonable pace given the short staffing.

This creates a high level of stress for them.

2. Disconnected from Management

Laboratory technicians report being disconnected from the management hierarchy of their organizations, especially when it comes to decision-making and being rewarded for their contributions.

Three out of four of them want more involvement in decision making.

3. Time Consuming Tasks

Laboratory technicians are expected to perform various testing procedures. Most of these procedures involve manual dexterity and take a long time.

As a result, they perform tasks that are both tiring and time consuming.

A lab technician may have to repeat the same process several times before receiving a satisfactory result or the right equipment.

This may cause the lab technician to become very frustrated.

Laboratory technicians face additional time-consuming tasks, such as preparing specimens for testing which is often done manually and manually weighing or measuring samples.

How to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician

If you are interested in becoming a medical laboratory technician, here are steps you can take:

  1. Get your High School Diploma

Obtaining a high school diploma is the first step towards a career as a medical lab technician.

Chemistry, biology, and math are recommended courses to help prepare for future success.

2. Obtain an Associate Degree or a Laboratory Technician Certificate

The majority of medical lab technicians enter the field after completing a two-year clinical lab technician or medical lab technician Associate degree program.

Some MLTs, on the other hand, enter the field after completing a program through the Armed Forces or a vocational school.

Laboratory technology programs combine theory with simulated lab instruction to prepare students for work in a real laboratory where one mistake can be fatal to patients.

Bacteriology, microbiology, hematology, laboratory procedures, and laboratory safety are typical course studies.

3. Recruit a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Certification

Most states do not require certification, but an AAB Certification or ASCP Certification combined with college or university training improves job prospects.

An ASCP credential can be obtained from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and an AAB credential can be obtained from the American Association of Bioanalysts.

More Tips on How to become a Medical Laboratory Technician

4. Find a Job as a Lab Technician

After completing a medical laboratory technician program, aspiring lab technicians can begin applying for jobs in the clinical laboratory science field.

Hospitals, medical labs, and physicians’ offices are the most likely places to find lab technicians.

5. Obtain Promotion

A Bachelor’s degree, a license (if required), and some practical experience are required to work in a lab.

Many medical laboratory technicians advance to become medical laboratory technologists.

A certificate or graduate degree in a relevant field, such as administration, business management, biological sciences, or medical technology, can also lead to advancement in a hospital or clinic.

If you have a marketing or science Bachelor’s degree, you can get a job in medical marketing, a pharmaceutical company, or a laboratory equipment manufacturer.

Major Benefits of a Medical Laboratory Technician Career

There are many benefits of a medical laboratory technician career, these include:

  1. Career Insurance

In the event of a medical laboratory technician career, if the person gets sick or injured on the job, they will be protected by law if they miss work because of illness or injury.

In most cases, if a medical laboratory technician is fired for being sick during work hours, they will receive medical and/or wage insurance benefits through their employer.

2. Salary

Medical laboratory technicians often receive higher salaries than many other health care workers.

A high school diploma is usually needed to qualify for a job as a medical laboratory technician.

Medical laboratory technicians with a college or graduate level degree in the field of biology and chemistry, or graduate level degree in biological science are likely to get better pay.

3. Career Development

Laboratory technologists that possess the ability to advance in their career by obtaining additional education and training will receive more money and greater respect from their employers.

They will also be able to make more money as they advance in their careers.

4. Employment Benefits

Generally, medical laboratory technicians receive medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits through their employers.

In addition, many employers also offer health insurance coverage to their employees as part of their benefits package.

Some employers also offer life insurance and other disability insurance to employees who meet certain qualifications.

The employer must pay for this coverage unless the employee pays for it individually.

More Benefits of a Medical Laboratory Technician Career

5. Overtime Pay

In most companies, overtime is required for lab technicians. However, some employers pay an overtime bonus to their employees if the employee works more than an eight hour shift on a daily basis.

This can be a great benefit for laboratory technicians who usually work long shifts.

6. Flexibility in Work Schedules

Many employers and laboratory technicians offer flexible work schedules to employees in order to meet specific needs.

This is usually a benefit for those who are going to school or have other commitments that must be met outside of their work hours.

7. Job Security

The job security for a medical laboratory technician can be quite good. Medical laboratory technicians are needed in almost every hospital, doctor’s office, public health department and research facility.

More medical lab testing is being done by non-invasive testing methods.

This means that there will always be a demand for medical lab technicians to work with these non-invasive testing methods.

Conclusion

Medical laboratory technology is becoming more and more important in today’s medical world.

This field of medicine will require workers with a variety of skills and education, and will continue to advance, creating future demand for medical laboratory technicians.

This post is helpful to individuals interested in the medical laboratory technician career; they will be able to learn all what the medical laboratory technician job entails.

It is also useful to recruiters/employers in making a detailed job description for the medical laboratory technician role in their organizations.