Medical Laboratory Technology a.k.a clinical laboratory science helps diagnose, treat and prevent disease through clinical laboratory tests. It is complementary to medical science. It involves analysis of body matter such as fluid, tissue, and blood. It also covers micro-organism screening, chemical analyses, and cell count. These professionals, medical lab technicians and technologists, play an important role in collecting information, sampling, testing, reporting and documenting medical investigations.Read on to know how to develop a career in medical lab technology:
Medical Technologist work covers areas such as:
Aspirants of medical laboratory technology can take up courses both at diploma and undergraduate levels. The B.Sc. program in medical laboratory technology is offered by different medical colleges/institutions across the country. The degree awarded is B.Sc.-M.L.T. The pre-requisite for B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology (BMLT) is 10+2 with science subjects or equivalent from a recognized University or Board. The duration of the course is 3 years. There are also other certificate courses for lab technician careers which needs 10+2 with science subjects. Courses are offered by colleges, universities as well as hospitals. The hospitals are usually affiliated with a college or university.
The three main courses available in medical laboratory technology are
A Medical Laboratory Technologistshould be disciplined and attentive. As fire is a bad master, likewise the chemicals in the laboratory are good servants but very bad masters. A Medical Laboratory Technologist should also have the ability to conduct research, finish tasks with speed as well as with accuracy, to handle stress, make analytical judgment, interpreting technical/scientific data, knowledge of laboratory instrumentation, mechanical ability and the ability to use computers.
Medical technologists are an integral part of the medical profession. These professionals get involved in practical and technical work to aid correct diagnosis and effective functioning of Biochemical Laboratories.
The career prospects in this field depend on the academic and technical skills of the technologist/technician. Initially he/she joins any laboratory as a certified medical laboratory technician. These days with the growth in the private sector there are so many private hospitals, nursing homes, blood banks, pathology laboratories etc. the demand for laboratory technicians is on the up-swing.
With adequate knowledge and experience, Medical Laboratory Technologists can advance to supervisory or management positions in laboratories and hospitals. They can also work as Laboratory manager/Consultant/supervisor, health care Administrator, Hospital Outreach coordination, laboratory information system Analyst/Consultant, educational consultant / coordinator etc. Additional opportunities are available in molecular diagnostics, molecular biotechnology companies and in vitro fertilization laboratories as well as in research labs.
Medical lab Technologists/Technicians get reasonable salary in government and private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic laboratories etc. Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow fast in the near future.
The average starting salary of a lab technician ranges between Rs.8,000 - 16,000 per month in hospitals and in clinics. However, lab technologists get higher salary as compared to lab technicians.
Medical Technicians in India have a whole variety of fields in which to work. There are many different types and specializations of technicians, and each type of medical technician does a different kind of job, depending on the field in which he/she works. In general, however, “the term medical technician can apply to people who work in x-ray labs, people who work as dental hygienists, emergency medical response workers, helpers in surgery, pharmacy and veterinary assistants, and a plethora of other work environments."
Medical technicians find employment in places like hospitals, health care clinics, medical pathology laboratories, research laboratories, urologists’ offices, etc, with an expected average annual pay of approximately Rs. 96,000 - Rs. 6 lakh.
The requirements for becoming a medical technician vary somewhat depending on the employer, as some places have more stringent and strict requirements, while others are more flexible. On average though, the requirements are as follows: passing marks in HSC (also known as the '10+2' exam) in Science Subjects, a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) or a Certificate in Medical Laboratory Technology (CMLT), and oftentimes a BMLT (Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology degree) or a Bachelor’s in Science (B.Sc.); some places may require the B.Sc. to be in a particular scientific field, like Pathology, for example.
A career as a medical technician requires a person who is not squeamish, as most technicians have to work with bodily fluids or tissue or injuries in some capacity. For the Operations Theater (OT) Techs, Optical Lab Techs, Plaster Techs, Renal Dialysis Techs, and especially the Physiotherapy Techs, a passion for working with patients is a must, as those positions do require a lot of time spent interacting with patients during uncomfortable and sometimes painful procedures. In that vain, it is also extremely important that the medical technician possess patience and compassion for others. Furthermore, a medical technician must be extremely organized (to avoid lab mix-ups), have strong written and oral communication skills (to communicate effectively with both patients and other medical staff), and be very detail oriented. Finally, a person best suited for a career as a medical technician must possess an analytical, scientifically inclined mind, one adept at following established scientific (as well as safety) protocols and procedures on a day-to-day basis.