Medical laboratory technicians perform a variety of routine tests under the supervision of a clinical laboratory scientist. The tests they run help doctors to diagnose and treat diseases. They perform blood counts, urinalysis, and test cells, tissues, blood and other specimen. Microscopes, automated blood analyzers and other laboratory equipment are commonly used by technicians. Some medical laboratory technicians are generalists and perform a wide variety of tests. Others specialize in a certain area such as cytology (study of cells), histology (tests on tissues) or blood banking. Some medical laboratory technicians are also trained to collect blood samples.
Medical laboratory technicians must be detail-oriented and very careful, since people's health depends on the accuracy of the tests they perform. Most medical laboratory technicians have an Associate degree from a community college or a certificate from a hospital or vocational school. A medical laboratory technician may take a test for optional certification offered by several organizations.
Links to Additional Career Information
Department of Health Services (510) 412-5846 www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ls/lsindex.htm
California Association for Medical Laboratory Technology (510) 792-4441 www.camlt.org
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (773) 714-8880 www.naacls.org
American Society of Clinical Pathologists (312) 738-1336 www.ascp.org/bor
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (301) 657-2768 www.ascls.org
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