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Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) health professional is skilled in conducting laboratory tests and responsible for the initiation of the treatment process by observing symptoms and subsequently aid in diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease They form an integral part of the healthcare industry. Medical laboratory technicians/technologists play a pivotal role in the comprehensive system by collecting, sampling, testing, reporting, and documenting medical investigations. They deal with biochemical, pathological, and microscopic examination of the body’s cells, tissues, and fluids.

Medical Laboratory Technician health professional is thus concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease through the use of clinical laboratory tests. This course offers a challenging career in a hospital, minor emergency centers, private laboratory, blood donor centers, doctor’s office or clinics. The Trainee level Executives can earn anywhere between Rs.10,000- Rs.20,000 per month. However, a deserving candidate can earn more with experience. The remuneration depends upon the qualification and knowledge of the individual in addition to the status of the hospital.

The medical lab technicians/technologists-MLT- work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, surgeons, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, and play an important role in evaluating, monitoring, and assessing a patient’s health situation, thus keeping the doctors and others informed to devise a course of treatment and plan appropriate care arrangements for the patient. The medical laboratory science practitioner of today must, of necessity, be theoretically sound and practically effective in his selective discipline.

The MLT is trained about various diseases and their detection and also in operating electric and electronic lab equipment. Maintaining the patient record and monitoring patient progress is also taught to MLT. The responsibilities include:

  • Evaluation of all body fluids, the procedures for extraction of samples, and analysis of those fluids.
  • Examining various tissues of the body, methods of sample acquisition and preparation, their staining, and their microscopic examination.
  • Evaluating different blood cells, and diagnosing any changes or any pathology.
  • Biochemistry tests to measure blood composition, hormones, enzymes, and drug levels.
  • Blood grouping, cross-matching in case of need for blood transfusion in emergency and trauma.
  • Microbiological identification of various pathogens affecting the human body including all viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens which cause infections.
  • A good Medical Lab Technician/technologist is the owner of good communication skills, analytical and problem-solving skills along a desire to accept the change and challenges to work under pressure. The work of a technologist/ technician offers respect and job satisfaction by saving lives and dragging the patients out of their misery and hence, serving humanity. Their support to doctors ensures better medical treatment.
  • The technologists work in areas like analysis of body fluids, blood banking, studying the immune system, hematology, phlebotomy, and microbiology, the study of human tissues, urine analysis, parasitology, serology, etc., whereas the technicians work under the supervision of the technologists and carry out routine laboratory testing manually.

Course Details

  • Human body – Anatomy and Physiology-Human physiology details the chemistry and physics of the structures of the body that is the human anatomy and how they work together to support the functions of life.
  • Medical terminology - The study of the words used to describe the human body is taught under medical terminology. Usually, medical terms consist of four parts: the root word, a prefix, a suffix, and a combining form which act as the building blocks of medical terminology.
  • Medical law/ethics- Pertain to the rights and responsibilities of medical professionals and their patients including confidentiality, negligence and criminal law. Medical ethics involves examining a specific problem, usually a clinical case, and using values, facts, and logic to decide what the best course of action should be.
  • Infection control-policy and procedures implemented to control and minimize the dissemination of infections in healthcare settings with the main purpose of reducing infection.
  • Medical emergencies-comprises planning, overseeing, and medical management for emergency medical response, disaster preparedness and medical control.
  • Biochemistry – basic and applied- is the application of chemistry to the study of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level.
  • Hematology, Immunology, and serology-Hematology is the study of diseases of the blood and blood components including blood and bone marrow cells. Immunology and serology studies focus on identifying antibodies, investigating problems with the immune system and determining organ, tissue, and fluid compatibility for transplantation
  • Microbiology (bacteriology, mycology, virology, parasitology)- study of microorganisms, those being unicellular, multicellular, or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, bacteriology, protistology, mycology, immunology and parasitology
  • Clinical Pathology-the diagnosis of disease using laboratory testing of blood and other bodily fluids, tissues, and microscopic evaluation of individual cells.
  • Pre and post-analytical lab procedures- Preanalytical variables occur prior to actual specimen testing and postanalytical variables occur after a test result is generated.
  • Advanced techniques-The future of healthcare lies in working hand-in-hand with advanced technology in order to stay relevant in the coming years.

Job Opportunities

  • Hospitals, labs, diagnostic centers, nursing homes- medical lab technicians work in lab settings and help conduct tests, work with pieces of lab equipment, record results and data.
  • Open his/her center – entrepreneurship- in association with a Pathologist to validate the pathology reports.
  • Academics - college and universities- employ tutors, instructors for teaching new learners
  • Molecular biotech companies - Research and development industry- MLT help accelerate and guide development to help therapy reach the patients who need it.
  • Medical writing- Medical writing involves creating well-structured scientific documents that include clinical research documents, content for healthcare websites, health magazines, journals and news.

Salary and perks:

  • The Trainee level Executives can directly join a laboratory or a hospital and earn somewhere between Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 per month. However, a well experienced and skilled can obviously earn more, the government being the model employer offers salaries between Rs.30000 to Rs.40000

  • Similar salary range is offered by the leading hospitals in the country where the technologists earn more than Rs.40000 However, there is no cap on the salary, with increasing experience, one’s remuneration and benefits increase dramatically. In addition to this, many employers offer healthcare benefits and other allowances to their employees.

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