Career summary

Details for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists


Description

Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.

Tasks

  • Conduct chemical analysis of body fluids, including blood, urine, or spinal fluid, to determine presence of normal or abnormal components.
  • Analyze laboratory findings to check the accuracy of the results.
  • Operate, calibrate, or maintain equipment used in quantitative or qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers, calorimeters, flame photometers, or computer-controlled analyzers.
  • Collect and study blood samples to determine the number of cells, their morphology, or their blood group, blood type, or compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques.
  • Enter data from analysis of medical tests or clinical results into computer for storage.
  • Establish or monitor quality assurance programs or activities to ensure the accuracy of laboratory results.
  • Analyze samples of biological material for chemical content or reaction.
  • Set up, clean, and maintain laboratory equipment.
  • Provide technical information about test results to physicians, family members, or researchers.
  • Cultivate, isolate, or assist in identifying microbial organisms or perform various tests on these microorganisms.
  • Supervise, train, or direct lab assistants, medical and clinical laboratory technicians or technologists, or other medical laboratory workers engaged in laboratory testing.
  • Develop, standardize, evaluate, or modify procedures, techniques, or tests used in the analysis of specimens or in medical laboratory experiments.
  • Harvest cell cultures at optimum time, based on knowledge of cell cycle differences and culture conditions.
  • Select and prepare specimens and media for cell cultures, using aseptic technique and knowledge of medium components and cell requirements.
  • Obtain, cut, stain, and mount biological material on slides for microscopic study and diagnosis, following standard laboratory procedures.
  • Conduct medical research under direction of microbiologist or biochemist.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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