Medical lab technicians are usually in charge of performing the fundamental tasks required to functionalize a medical laboratory. Being a medical lab technician, some of their basic duties include preparing samples, performing manual tests, performing miscellaneous laboratory tasks, and operating automated analyzers. Medical lab technicians are capable of diagnosing, detecting, and monitoring diseases. These skills are usually acquired through enrolling in one of the medical lab technician courses taken during postsecondary training programs or military training programs. These courses can either be completed through a degree program or certification. They work under the supervision of a laboratory manager or technologist.
Information on Associate’s and Bachelor’s Programs
When an individual takes a medical lab technician course at a technical school or community college, it generally leads to a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree. A certificate program usually requires the completion of an associate’s or bachelors’ degree with science practical work. For first-time college students, an associate’s program is more suitable.
Both of these programs involve mostly laboratory-based coursework, and students generally complete a number of clinical practice. The laboratory coursework equips students with the learning of diagnostic testing and identifying & analyzing components, blood, and microorganisms with the help of common tools found in a laboratory.
There are a number of science courses in Associate’s degree programs, generally relating to chemistry, organic chemistry, human biology, and cellular biology. In certificate programs, this general education coursework is usually excluded.
Requirement of Certification or Licensure
In some regions, possession of certification or licensure is necessary for graduates to work as a medical laboratory technician. Graduates can also choose general certification as a technician or pursue a specialty. There are some major concepts included in medical lab technician programs, including:
- Basic laboratory procedures
- Medical technology
Overview of Courses
- Clinical Chemistry Course
This lecture and laboratory course gives experience in lab procedures while providing the capability to analyze several substances, including glucose, electrolytes, and enzymes. Advanced lab technicians learn theory, procedures, clinical applications, and laboratory mathematics.
- Bacteriology Course
This course educates students in the basic concepts and practices of clinical bacteriology. This course covers the determination of pathogenic microorganisms and their disease processes.
- Clinical Hematology Course
This course basic focuses on the study of hematology and laboratory proficiency. Students are taught the genesis of various hematologic disorders, consisting leukemias and anemias. The lab part of this course offers knowledge pertaining to procedures in automated, semi-automated, and manual blood cell counts. Staining techniques and differential morphology, hemoglobin and hematocrit procedures, and coagulation procedures are also addressed.
- Medical Microbiology Course
In this course, students will learn about the identification and taxonomy of microorganisms. Topics generally include metabolism and genetics, basic immunology, microbial morphology, cultural characteristics, and theory of disease process. Students will also learn about the microbiology related to food and water. This course is conducted usually in a combination of class lectures and labs. Other domains of course may consist of parasitology and a clinical research into human pathogenic microorganisms.