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A Medical and/or Clinical Laboratory Technician tests samples of patients' tissue, blood, and urine. The tests can help doctors diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases

laboratory technician

Education Requirements:

To become a medical technician, you can enroll in a medical laboratory assistant or technician program. They are available at two-year colleges, technical schools, and some hospitals across the country. An associate degree takes two years to earn, but it usually takes one year or less to earn a certificate.

To become a medical technologist, you will usually need a bachelor's degree. You can study medical lab technology or one of the life sciences. It takes four years to earn a degree. In some cases, you can work at this level with a combination of study and on-the-job or specialized training.

Medical technician certification isn't required in all states, but many employers will prefer the certification that validates the knowledge necessary to perform the job tasks at high standards. The requirements are different in every state. You usually will have to pass an exam and meet certain educational requirements.

Job Tasks:

  • Conduct chemical analysis of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.

  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.

  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.

  • Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.

  • Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.

  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.

  • Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths or other bacteriological media with organisms.

  • Obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating and identifying microorganisms for analysis.

Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:


  • Knowledge of plant and animal organism, their tissues, cell, functions, interdependencies and interactions with each other and the environment (Biology).

  • Knowledge of chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo (Chemistry).

  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and their applications.

  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities.

  • Knowledge and use of analytical or scientific software.

  • Knowledge and use of data base user interface and query software (FileMaker Pro).

  • Knowledge and use of development environment software (LabVIEW)

  • Knowledge and use of Medical software (Electronic medical record EMR software; Medical digital imaging software; MEDITECH software; and Test routing software).

  • Knowledge and use of Microsoft software (Office, Excel, Work Outlook)

  • Information Ordering – Ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules.

  • Oral Comprehension – Ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

  • Finger Dexterity – Ability to make precise coordinated movements of the fingers.

  • Near Vision – Ability to see details at close range.

  • Problem Sensitivity –Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.

  • Category Flexibility – Ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

  • Arm-Hand Steadiness – Ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

  • Control Precision – Ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine to exact positions.

  • Written Comprehension – Ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Desired Work Style Attributes:

  • Attention to details

  • Integrity – Honest and ethical

  • Dependability – Reliable and responsible

  • Independence – Job requires developing one’s own way of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision and depending on oneself to get things done.

  • Cooperation – Pleasant with others

  • Stress Tolerance – Accepting criticism and dealing calmly in stressful situations

  • Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check

  • Concern for Others – Sensitive to needs of others

  • Independence – Guiding oneself

  • Adaptability/Flexibility – Open to change

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