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What you can do with a career as Medical Lab Technician

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
By Mrs. Shaheen Khan

Want to pursue medical related course after HSC exams? Don’t worry; being a doctor is not the only option to pursue a career in Medicine as most people believe. There are numerous carer options available in the healthcare sector; one of which is ‘Medical Laboratory Technology’.

Why Medical Laboratory Technology?
The medical treatment starts only after the diagnosis of the disease and diagnose, doctors need various kinds of analysis through tests. On the basis of outcome of these tests, they treat and give advice for prevention. This is where the crucial role of Medical Laboratory Technology or Clinical laboratory science comes in picture.  The Medical Laboratory Technicians are the ones who does the blood collection and perform the various diagnostic tests by analysing body fluids like blood, saliva and urine, tissues, microorganism screening, chemical analyses, cell counts of human body etc.

The Medical Laboratory Technicians also play an important role in collecting the information needed, sampling, testing, reporting and documentation of these investigations. They determine the presence, extent or absence of disease and provide data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

Skills Required:
Qualified medical lab technician needs to be extremely precise and disciplined in thier work; they should be proficient in managing delicate laboratory equipment and responsive materials. According to the College Board, a medical lab technology job requires its practitioners to be logical and precise, with a curiosity in medicine, science and technology. In an increasingly computerized industry, medical lab technologists should be capable in using computers and digital equipment and comfortable with understanding new technologies.

Career Overview:
As a Medical Laboratory Technician, one does regular laboratory testing manually with the help of high end equipments. Technicians collect samples, organize specimens and operate machines that mechanically analyze samples. They also organize standard solutions which engage measuring and mixing the correct amount of diverse chemicals for use in the lab.

Career prospects:
Career as a Medical laboratory technician offer you the chance to have an important impact on enduring care, without actually interacting with patients. One can also work as a freelancer as well as a Phlebotomist and have great earnings.

With relevant skill a candidate can find employment in a hospital, minor emergency centers, private laboratory, blood donor centers, Health care centre or clinics. You can aspire to become a technologist in due time and work experience.

Medical lab technicians can also find jobs in research facilities, crime laboratories, universities, pharmaceutical companies and military.

With their dedicated skills, lab technicians are constantly in demand in hospitals, specialty hospitals, laboratories etc. You could grow to become:

  • Laboratory manager/ Consultant/ supervisor
  • Laboratory information system Analyst/Consultant
  • Hospital Outreach coordination

Medical technicians are also required in industry like pharmaceutical for position in product development, promotion, sales, quality promise, environmental health and insurance, amongst others.

Eligibility needed for Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) is 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognised Board. Duration of the course is mainly 2 years. There are also other certificate courses in lab technicians which needs 10+2 as the eligibility. Courses are offered by various institutes, colleges, universities as well as hospitals. The hospitals and/or the medical labs are usually affiliated with a college or university. On Job Training along with the classroom sessions plays a vital role for providing the practical exposure as well as hands on experience related to this sector.

For those who want to pursue Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology (BMLT), the eligibility is 10+2 or equivalent with Science subjects or Pre- University Vocational course from a recognized Board with laboratory Technology as Vocational subject. BMLT is a 3 years programme.

Medical Lab technology is a productive and challenging field. The initial salary package of a medical lab technology/ technician ranges from Rs 10,000 - Rs 20,000 per month in hospitals and in clinics. One can also earn a good amount as a free-lancer. The pay packages gradually increase with years of experience.

The author is Founder, Director of Council of Education & Development Programmes (CEDP) Skill Institute, Mumbai.

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