Since laboratory tests have become increasingly important in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of many illnesses and diseases, the work of the Medical Laboratory Technician is critical in providing world-class health care to Michigan residents. Medical laboratory technicians, also called clinical laboratory technicians, perform routine laboratory procedures on blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids using instruments such as microscopes, chemicals, computers, and complex laboratory equipment.
Individuals who do well in this profession have an aptitude for chemistry and have great attention to detail to keep track of the steps taken in processing lab tests. Even slight variations in the math or the quantity of chemicals used in processing can change test results, which determine patient diagnoses. Incorrect diagnoses are a liability to the hospital or clinic they work for because it can result in patients being prescribed medications or other treatments that they don't need which could be harmful to them.
Medical laboratory technicians also need to have basic office skills including spelling, grammar and punctuation, and basic math skills. They should have a working knowledge of common office computer programs such as MS Word, Excel and Outlook, as well as medical database software.
Most medical laboratory technician’s work in hospitals; others work in physician offices, and medical laboratories.
Employment of medical laboratory technicians is expected to grow by six percent between 2010 and 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Additionally, there will be a high number of job replacements needed for the nearly 25 percent of medical laboratory technicians quickly reaching retirement age.
Job postings for medical laboratory technicians in Michigan over the last twelve months show a strong demand for those in this occupation¹.
Most Michigan employers require an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology or clinical laboratory science and certification with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, or equivalent.
Check the MI Health Council, MI Health Opportunities for Today and Tomorrow and/or the Virtual Career Network, Health Care for additional information on this and other health care careers.
______________________________________¹Help Wanted Online® (HWOL)
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