The clinical technician plays a crucial role in finding human disease in the body. This professional must collect bodily fluids and cells for examination and analysis. They primarily search for bacteria, organisms, and parasites that can cause infection in the body. Bodily fluids must be examined for content by these professionals. For example, the clinical technician will examine the blood to find a match for a person. Drug testing is another task performed by this technician. Cell examination is another critical role for this professional. This technician will study bodily fluids and cells to locate any abnormal cells.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician Job Responsibilities
Furthermore, the clinical laboratory technologist primarily uses elaborate lab equipment to perform their work. This includes microscopes and cell counters. Equipment that is automated and computerized can perform several tests at the same time. After completing their evaluation of the specimen, the technician is responsible for reporting accurate findings to the physician. Advanced equipment has resulted in the clinical technologist being able to analyze complex findings. This promotes a less hands on approach in the laboratory. The tests that are performed are complex. Technicians in a larger laboratory specialize in a specific area, while smaller labs require more generalized knowledge. For example, a chemical technician in the lab focuses specifically on hormones and chemicals in the body. Immunology clinical laboratory technicians examine the body’s response to foreign materials.
The laboratory can be a hazardous place if the technician does not follow established guidelines. Guidelines require that these professionals wear protective goggles, masks, gloves, and gowns while performing their duties. Clinical laboratory technologists work in clean and well lighted facilities. There are some fumes from chemicals, but the protective gear guards against any harmful effect. Good physical stamina is necessary to stand for prolonged periods. Work schedules vary according to the type of facility the technician is employed with. Hospitals operate around the clock; thus, the technicians in this environment may work a non traditional schedule.
In conclusion, the clinical laboratory technologist and technician should be able to stand strong odors. Also, blood, bodily fluids, and human tissue is involved in daily work; thus, this professional must be able to handle these sights. An emotionally stable individual is required to work in this setting. The person must be able to make accurate and quick decisions. Many of these decisions will be independent and requires good judgment. Attention to detail is critical in this setting. An error can be dangerous for the patient and technologist or technician. A good eye for detail helps this professionals to accurately analyze samples. The physician and patient heavily depend on the results of the tests, so a very low error rate is key to success.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician Training and Education Requirements
The minimum level of education is normally a bachelor’s degree in medical technology. Some graduates have a degree in some other life science discipline. Many do qualify for a position as a clinical laboratory technologist by having a combination of experience and education. It is necessary to complete an accredited program in medical technology or another life science. Chemistry, biology, mathematics and statistics are a few of the courses that are taught during the degree program. A clinical technician generally has an associate degree from a community college or university. A small number of technicians are completely trained on the job.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician Salary and Wages
Salary surveys in 2008 discovered that the median salary for most clinical laboratory technologists is $52,000. Those that fall within the middle range earn between $44,000 to $63,000 per year. Those that are paid the most in this field earned $74,000 or greater.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician Certifications
The vast majority of employers prefer certified technologists and technicians. There are quite a few associations that offer the certification. The Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology offers a certification for technologists and technicians in the profession. These organizations have different requirements for membership. In addition to certification, an ability to work under pressure is crucial. Also, good analytical skills are necessary to be successful in this field.
Those that want to advance in the field can earn additional education and credentials. Experience also plays a critical role in achieving supervisory or managerial positions. A combination of experience, education, and certification will greatly increase the chances of promotion in this field. The medical field is growing, and it is expected that there will be many vacancies within the labs and hospitals. Those that are qualified stand a good chance of securing employment in the health care field.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician Professional Association
There are several professional organizations that promote the pathology profession. For example, the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology is one such organization. Another is the American Medical Technologists. In addition, the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel is yet another association that seeks to promote standards of excellence in this profession. These groups provide a place for professionals in the field to gather and share ideas and knowledge.