A medical lab technician may not be seen out in the open treating patients; they work behind the scenes and play a fundamental role in the medical field, a role that assists the doctor in identifying the root cause of the ailment that needs to be treated.
A medical lab technician bears the responsibility of analyzing body fluids, performing tests, and working with up-to-date modern equipment under the supervision of lab technologists to help physicians investigate the best solution for the patient.
Exactly how do you become a medical lab technician? If you’re in love with the healthcare field and you want to achieve your dream of becoming a professional lab technician, this article is just for you. It discusses straight forward steps you can take to achieve your dream.
Get the Required Degree
Before becoming a medical lab technician, you need to get all the necessary educational requirements that would qualify you. One of such requirements, aside from your high school diploma, is an associate’s degree. To obtain this degree, you’ll have to complete the program that lasts for two years.
The medical lab technician (MLT) program covers a wide range of courses that will help the student to understand diagnostic testing, safety standard, blood work, etc.. This program is a combination of classroom learning that gives students the experience to gain a well-rounded education in science and liberal arts and practical hands-on that allows students to work in lab settings.
Some MLT courses are transfusion medicine, microbiology, clinical chemistry, hematology, etc. It is important to make sure you get your MLT associate degree program from a place accredited by NAACLS.
Take the ASCP Certification Exam and Get Your License
In order to add more value to your resume and become a full professional medical lab technician, you need to take part in the ASCP certification exam. You are only qualified to write the ASCP exam upon completion of the associate degree program. Though not all employers and states require that the medical lab technician be certified, those who acquire the certificate are more likely to have more job prospects. The certification is like evidence of competency, a proof that you know what you’re doing.
Advance in Your Career
Technology, testing practices, and standards are ever-evolving and its wise brush up on your MLT skills and get a fine mixture of hard and soft skills. Improving your skills puts your best foot out there when looking for a job. Some of these skills are laboratory equipment, laboratory testing, patient care, microbiology, and some transferable skills like communication, organization, research, etc. The MLT education will package your skills fully and help you work in the medical lab.
Jobs in the medical field particularly lab technicians are in high demand. The number of conditions evaluated in the lab is also increasing since more patients have access to health care. There is never a dull moment. Each time you collect a blood sample from patients, you gain experience and learn new ways on how to make the patient feel comfortable. And even though you’re working behind the scenes, you’ll be an integral asset in the medical field.