Medical lab technicians are the medical professionals that work behind the scenes. One of their main job responsibilities is to receive blood and bodily fluid samples and process them. They may collect these fluids themselves, or they may receive them from doctors and other professionals, and they’ll use laboratory equipment such as computers and microscopes in order to perform tests, categorize samples, and record various results. They may also perform more complex analysis under the supervision of more experienced/specialized professionals in order to detect abnormalities and gather other relevant data.
The Required Personal Qualities
Being a medical laboratory technician requires several personal qualities. First, you will need to have a certain level of patience and compassion when working with patients and retrieving samples because you may work in a clinic or hospital where this is part of your duties. You will also need manual dexterity since you will be working with samples and laboratory equipment. Attention to detail is a big plus since you will have to follow very specific procedures. Finally, you will need a fair degree of physical stamina because laboratory work will require you to be on your feet for most of the day.
The minimum educational requirement for laboratory technicians is a two-year associate’s degree that can be completed at a community college, university, or a lab technician school. Other medical professionals that have already attained at least an associate’s degree in their respective fields can opt to go through a one-year certificate program that will allow them to develop the necessary skills. Medical lab technician programs consist of various courses that will train students to identify the various characteristics of human diseases, handle samples and specimens in the laboratory, and operate medical equipment. The curriculum consists of both theoretical laboratory study and real-world practice in hospitals or medical and diagnostic laboratories.
Certification and Licensing
In some states, lab technicians need to be licensed in order to practice. Licensure indicates that the practitioner has graduated from an accredited program. Some states will also require certain certifications in order to obtain a license. Certifications have the tendency to enhance job prospects and increase starting salaries, making them beneficial to pursue even in states where they are not required for licensing. It is also worth mentioning that there are several different types of certifications, with some targeting a general area of the profession and others being specialized in a certain field such as phlebotomy.
As the baby boomer generation continues to age into senior citizenship, the demand for medical care will continue to increase. This means that the demand for lab technicians will increase as well since testing medical samples is an essential part of healthcare. In fact, it is estimated that the profession will grow by 15% over the coming years, which is slightly higher than the average expected increase across all industries. On top of that, graduates who have attended a lab technician school also have the option of furthering their education and reaching higher and better-paid positions—including research, education, and sales/marketing roles—in the healthcare space or other industries.
Find Out More Today About Our Chicago Medical Lab Technician School
If you would like to attend a top Chicago lab technician school, you should consider Robert Morris University. We offer a full suite of courses and programs that will give you both the theoretical and hands-on experience you will need to land a position in the field. Contact us today for more information regarding our enrollment process, course structure, and any other questions you may have about our school or program.