The Potential Employers and Educational Requirements of Lab Assistants

Medical lab assistants looking at a monitor

Medical lab assistants are also referred to as medical laboratory technicians. They are in charge of performing laboratory evaluations to treat, prevent, and diagnose diseases. With a portable printer in hand, a medical laboratory technologist oversees them when they run tests on body fluid samples, including tissue and blood.

They get samples ready for computer testing and they may even conduct tests manually themselves. They have to guarantee that all specimens have been properly labeled and collected. They will also have to make sure to conduct right sterile methods to avoid external bacteria from contaminating the tests.

Although, the size of the laboratory or hospital where they work determines whether they should administer an array of tests or just focus in one area. Specialty areas include microbiology, immunology, chemistry, immunohematology, and haematology.

Likely Employers

The facilities where they will work include clinics, hospitals, and medical laboratories. Based on the Bureau of Labour Statistics, surgical and general medical hospitals hire the majority of medical lab technologists and technicians. Last May 2014 alone, their statistics even revealed that hospitals offered work to nearly 50% of all clinical and medical technologists and lab technicians. Diagnostic and medical laboratories employed the next highest quantity, while physicians’ offices followed suit.

Educational Requirements

The site ExploreHealthCareers.org explains that this profession requires an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology. This program will give them the opportunity to learn laboratory methodologies and medical terminologies. Topics that they will have to learn comprise of phlebotomy, immunohematology, haematology and bacteriology. The Bureau of Labour Statistics mentions that there are entry-level positions who mandate a baccalaureate degree.

Ultimately, medical lab assistants assess biological samples to figure out if there is presence of drugs, diseases and disorders. From lab results, physicians can properly treat and diagnose their patients.