Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) perform many of the clinical lab tests that physicians use to diagnose and treat disease. Their work directly affects the lives of patients by providing doctors with the findings they need to make critical decisions about diagnosis and treatment.
They are allied health professionals who perform routine tests in a hospital or independent lab setting under the supervision of a medical laboratory scientist or physician. They can be found in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, research facilities, veterinary labs, and public health organizations..
The laboratories have always been present, working behind the scenes to assist patient-care workgroups but the current global Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the volume of work for many labs has risen significantly, which generates the requirement for more medical lab technicians in the coming future. There is a global shortage of medical experts in the current global context, which has resulted in a global competition for talent in this discipline. This means that Allied Medical professionals in India not only have the option of working in cities or rural areas, for the government or the private sector but they are also being courted by international healthcare providers.
- Rising incomes have meant a steady growth to access healthcare and related services, which in conjunction with other factors has led to a steady increase in the demand for healthcare in India.
- Changing demographics have also been contributing to greater healthcare spending; this is likely to continue with the size of the aged population set to rise from the current 96 million to about 168 million by 2026.
- An increase in the incidence of lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes has also contributed to rising healthcare spending by individuals.
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What’s driving the growth of medical lab technicians?
The field is growing because advances in medical technology mean more tests are available than ever before — and depending on where you live, you might even have access to lab testing without leaving your home with immediate medical reports. These advancements have also expanded the scope of careers in the medical lab tech field, opening up new opportunities ranging from public health to DNA analysis.
There is a huge demand for trained professionals in labs of hospitals, diagnostic centers, blood banks, etc. In addition, one can also work in health education programs as a health instructor organized by the government or private organizations. Commercial laboratory testing is a multibillion-dollar industry that has been growing steadily for years, and the demand for skilled professionals to fill its ranks is even more impressive.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of medical laboratory technicians is expected to grow by 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. While there will be about 25,900 openings for clinical laboratory technicians over the next decade in the US alone.
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A variety of factors are in play, including an aging population and increased access to health care as more people become insured — both of which combine to increase the number of tests being performed per patient. Furthermore, laboratories are beginning to employ more and more automation and computerization in their workflows.
This can lead to a reduction in some routine tasks that could be performed by medical lab techs, but there will also be an increase in demand for highly skilled techs who can operate and monitor this equipment. The career prospects of a student depend upon the ability of knowledge of academic and technical professions which leads to “health care” professionals.
This growth has led to Medical Laboratory Technicians becoming indispensable to society as they have been tasked with the responsibility of conducting tests on samples suspected of carrying viruses such as Ebola, Zika, Coronavirus, and other deadly infections which could lead to epidemics or outbreaks.
The healthcare industry is undergoing a major transformation that will most likely continue into the twenty-first century and there are plenty of opportunities for qualified medical lab technicians.
As the need for preventative care continues to rise, new diagnostic procedures will be developed to help detect disease in its earliest stages as new technology has been linked to increased efficiency, fewer errors, and higher quality in the delivery of health care services.
In addition to the growth in job opportunities, demand for lab techs should also push up wages. With a larger population requiring more healthcare services, you’ll be able to use your skills in any number of settings from hospitals, reference laboratories, physicians’ offices, and clinics.