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Medical or Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Technician

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findingsStudy blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood typesOperate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell countersUse automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same timeLog data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical recordDiscuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physiciansSupervise or train medical laboratory techniciansBoth technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform manual tests that are based on detailed instructions, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they generally specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.
Personality & Interest

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Medical laboratory technologists typically have an interest in the Doer, Thinker and Organiser interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Doer interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinker interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Organiser interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems. If you are not sure whether you have a Doer or Thinker or Organiser interest which might fit with a career as a medical laboratory technologist, you can take a career test to measure your interests.Medical laboratory technologists should also possess the following specific qualities:Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions from physicians in order to perform correct tests or procedures.Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians require skill while working with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must be able to handle these tools effectively.Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.
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