What is a Medical Laboratory Technologist?

A medical laboratory technologist analyzes blood, tissue, and body fluid samples in search for microorganisms like parasites or bacteria. They also determine blood type, drug levels, cell count, and chemical content.

These technologists perform numerous complicated tests using specialized instrumentation and automated equipment. They are highly trained professionals that collaborate with doctors or laboratory directors on patient data after the test results are analyzed and completed.

Difference between a technologist and a technician:
- A four-year degree is needed to become a medical laboratory technologist.
- A two-year degree (or certificate) is required to work as a medical laboratory technician.

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What does a Medical Laboratory Technologist do?

A medical laboratory technologist will perform a full range of laboratory tests, from simple blood tests, to more complex tests that will reveal diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes. They work in all areas of the laboratory including immunology, microbiology, histology, hematology, chemistry, and blood banking.

A medical laboratory technologist analyzing samples.

Clinical laboratory technologists calibrate and operate complex equipment, precision instruments, and computers. They are responsible for the accuracy of test results, therefore the results and information that the laboratory technologist gives to the physician influences the medical treatment a patient will receive.

Medical laboratory technologists assist doctors and nurses in choosing the correct lab tests and ensure proper collection methods. In addition, they maintain the integrity of the laboratory process by recognizing factors that could introduce error and reject sub-standard or contaminated specimens. They will also investigate any discrepant results.

The following are some of the duties that a medical laboratory technologist may have:

  • Setting up, calibrating, and sterilizing equipment
  • Collecting and examining slides of bodily fluids
  • Collecting and examining blood samples
  • Matching blood for transfusions
  • Preparing cultures of tissue samples
  • Analyzing lab reports
  • Looking for toxic components in blood or urine
  • Monitoring for data accuracy
  • Delivering test results to doctors or researchers
  • Collaborating with doctors or laboratory directors on patient data

Are you suited to be a medical laboratory technologist?

Medical laboratory technologists have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also realistic, meaning they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty.

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What is the workplace of a Medical Laboratory Technologist like?

Medical laboratory technologists work in hospital laboratories, pharmaceutical firms, research facilities, and other lab settings. T

hey are skilled in diverse scientific disciplines, therefore employment outside of the medical laboratory is common. Many technologists are employed in government positions such as the FDA, USDA, non-medical industrial laboratories, and manufacturing.

More experienced laboratory technologists may advance by conducting research, developing new methods of analysis and supervising and training medical laboratory technicians.

Medical Laboratory Technologists are also known as:
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist Clinical Laboratory Technologist Medical Lab Tech Medical Technologist Clinical Laboratory Scientist