What is a lab technician

  • A lab technician performs the practical hands-on work in laboratories. He works in various settings that include health care, research, educational institutions and industries. Lab technicians work in fields of medicine, chemistry, geology, environment, electronics and biology.

  • Lab technicians have an important role in the preventions and diagnosis of diseases like AIDS, diabetes and cancer. They also work under the supervision of a medical technologist, lab manager or physician and perform laboratory tests on the specimens.

    They are involved in various laboratory-based investigations within chemical, biological, physical and life science areas. They also carry out the sampling, testing, measuring, recording and analysis of results as part of the scientific team.

    Lab technicians provide the required technical support that allows the laboratory to function effectively and adhere to correct procedures as well as the health and safety guidelines.

    Where do lab technicians work

    Lab technicians carry out work that assists in the development and advancement of modern science and medicine. Lab technicians work indoors in the laboratory. Some of the areas that medical lab technicians can specialize in include:

    – microbiology

    – hematology

    – immunology

    – blood banking

    – clinical chemistry

    – cytotechnology

    – molecular biology

    A lab technician can be found in hospitals, physicians’ offices and diagnostic laboratories. He can also work at medical equipment sales companies, blood and organ banks, research facilities, public health organizations and clinics, including reference and pharmaceutical laboratories.

    The workplaces of lab technicians must be clean, well lit and sanitized. They must wear protective clothing that includes lab coats, masks, gloves and goggles especially when handing the specimens and the laboratory equipment. The shifts are odd throughout the day and they have to be on call, in case of an emergency.

    Duties of a lab technician:

    – receives, processes and analyzes samples. These samples consist of blood and tissue (health care), chemical products (pharmaceutical and chemical industry), water and soil (public and environmental health.

    – conducts tests on new products and environmental processes

    – uses, cleans and maintains various types of equipment

    – handles and stores chemicals and other materials

    – handles compressed gas cylinders

    – administrative tasks includes maintaining notebooks, preparing invoices and orders and documenting procedures

    – sets up and sanitizes laboratories, matches blood compatibility for transfusions and prepares specimens

    – analyzes fluid chemical content, examines immune system elements and collects blood samples

    – handles sophisticated laboratory equipment including cell counters, automated analyzers and microscopes.

    Why should you become a lab technician

    If you have a certificate or an associate’s degree from an accredited school, you can pursue a career in becoming a lab technician. The topics that are covered as part of the Medical Lab Technician include training for human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, applied immunology, medical laboratory techniques, blood coagulation and urinalysis.

    You may need to have licensing based on state requirements. Medical lab technicians can also advance to becoming medical lab technologies as long as additional training and experience have been required. Technologists must have a bachelor’s degree in medical technology in order to become a lab technician.

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