Every medical lab needs technicians to run tests, record data, and perform a number of other essential duties using their skills, experience, and training to guide them.
While over 335,000 people work in this profession, it’s not a job that’s well understood by people who aren’t healthcare workers themselves.
To help you understand more about what medical lab techs (MLTs) get up to, here are just a few facts and figures that should pique your interest.
We all know that lab techs test samples sent in by physicians to help diagnose ailments and assess overall patient health. What you might not realize is that this is more than just a passive process, since through the analysis of blood samples, in particular, medical technicians can save lives.
Crucially, it is the role of a lab tech to determine the blood type of each patient and make recommendations about which type of transfusion will be most reliably compatible.
If this is not handled by qualified professionals, fatal mistakes might be made, and doctors cannot glean such insights on their own. So while lab techs may work behind the scenes most of the time, without them modern healthcare would not deliver such successful outcomes.
Management skills are needed to progress
While lab techs do spend a lot of time looking through microscopes and using scientific machinery to diagnose medical issues, there is very much a hierarchy within this workplace as there is in any other.
In order to step up and build a career, technicians have to embrace management skills, and initiatives like Colabra’s lab management course help to codify this.
From project management to people management and beyond, a medical lab technician is much more than a Petri dish-pusher. And of course, these skills can be transferred to other industries if a tech wants a change of career.
As well as being one of the higher growth sectors of the employment market, medical lab tech roles are required in all sorts of healthcare facilities in every part of the country and indeed the world.
As an MLT you can pick and choose from jobs in busy big city hospitals, rural clinics, or even overseas locations where this type of profession is very much in-demand as well.
This brings with it both the flexibility of working where you want, as well as the opportunity to apply for positions domestically or on foreign soil. So whatever you need to suit your lifestyle, technician’s jobs can offer it.
We often think of work as being a source of stress, yet for MLTs, this is rarely the case. A study from CareerCast ranked lab technician as being one of the most stress-free jobs that are available today, which is good news for anyone who doesn’t want to subject themselves to a career in a high-pressure environment.
While we mentioned earlier that the work done by medical techs is important, and requires training and expertise, it is also the behind-the-scenes nature of this job that avoids excess stress from becoming a burden.
Finally, no examination of a potential career path is complete without considering the earnings potential of the role in question.
When it comes to MLTs, median pay according to the BLS was just over $54,000 for 2020, and lab managers can earn significantly more than this.
When looking for a stable, rewarding, and meaningful career, it is tough to find anything that fits these requirements better than a medical lab tech.