Medical Laboratory Technician

Combining the challenges and rewards of medicine and science

Medical laboratory testing plays a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Working with highly automated, computer-based technology, medical laboratory technicians examine and analyze bodily fluids and cells. Their work includes:

  • Looking for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms
  • Analyzing the chemical content of fluids
  • Matching blood for transfusions
  • Testing for drug levels in the blood to determine how a patient is responding to treatment

Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers. They may work in several areas of the medical laboratory or specialize in just one.

What are the career opportunities in this field?

While hospitals will continue to be the major employer in this field, clinical laboratory technicians will also find a growing number of opportunities in medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of physicians, and other walk-in healthcare facilities. Manufacturers of home diagnostic testing kits and laboratory equipment and supplies also seek experienced technicians to work in product development, marketing, and sales.

Where do they work?

Professionals in this field work in well-lit, clean environments. Work hours for clinical laboratory technicians vary greatly. In large hospitals or in independent laboratories that operate continuously, personnel usually work the day, evening, or night shift and may work weekends and holidays. Laboratory personnel in small facilities may work on rotating shifts, rather than on a regular shift. In some facilities, laboratory personnel are on call several nights a week or on weekends, in case of an emergency.

What are potential job titles?

Graduates of the Herzing University medical assisting services programs will also have knowledge of medical billing and reimbursement (including Medicare and Medicaid) and will be able to perform those duties as well.

Position titles for medical assistants include:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Secretary
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Clerk

What is the job outlook?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technicians are expected to grow by 16% between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. This field will continue to expand due to an increase in population and the development of new types of tests.

While hospitals will continue to be the major employer in this field, clinical laboratory technicians will also find a growing number of opportunities in medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of physicians, and other walk-in healthcare facilities. Manufacturers of home diagnostic testing kits and laboratory equipment and supplies also seek experienced technicians to work in product development, marketing, and sales.

How do I advance in this career?

By going on to get a bachelor’s degree and gaining more experience, technicians can advance their careers and become technologists. Technologists can hold supervisory positions in a laboratory setting or become laboratory managers in hospitals.

What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?

Graduates of the Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technician program at the Akron Campus of Herzing University meet the educational requirements to be eligible to take the following certification examinations:

  • Medical Laboratory Technician Certification offer by American Medical Technologists
  • Medical Laboratory Technician offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology

Graduates of the Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technician program at the Akron Campus of Herzing University meet the educational requirements to be eligible to take the following certification examinations:

  • Medical Laboratory Technician Certification offer by American Medical Technologists
  • Medical Laboratory Technician offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology

What is the program title, length, and content?

Medical Laboratory Technician Program Info

Program Credits Months
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technician 70 20
*Average number of months for students to complete program **Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, OOH, Ed. 2010-11

Associate in Medical Laboratory Technician

This program is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to function in the medical/hospital lab setting. Laboratory tests play an important part in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Medical laboratory technicians perform a wide variety of tests and laboratory procedures that require a high level of skill. The medical laboratory technician analyzes the blood, tissues, and fluids in the human body by using precision instruments such as microscopes and automated analyzers.

Technicians assist in performing complicated chemical, microscopic, and bacteriological tests including: blood cholesterol level; microscopic examination of the blood to detect the presence of diseases; and cultures of body fluid or tissue samples to determine the presence of bacteria, parasites, or other microorganisms. Technicians may also type and crossmatch blood samples. Each student will be prepared for entry-level medical laboratory positions in the medical lab and hospital setting. Download Program Course Sheet

Essential Functions for Medical Laboratory Technicians

The Herzing University Medical Laboratory Technician program has a responsibility for the welfare of patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the program, as well as for the welfare of students in the program. To fulfill this responsibility, the program has established minimum essential requirements that must be met, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to participate in the program and graduate. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or veteran status.

  • Visual skills: You must be able to effectively read written material, utilize a medical microscope, read instrument displays, and perform procedures that require eye-hand coordination. You must be able to discriminate color reactions.
  • Auditory skills: You must be able to hear alarms that are used to signal instrument malfunction, fire or other emergencies.
  • Communication skills: You must be able to effectively communicate with other medical personnel and with patients.
  • Motor skills: You must be able to perform procedures that require eye-hand coordination. You must be able to effectively manipulate medical laboratory equipment such as microscopes and spectrophotometers, as well as the devices used to collect specimens. You must be able to feel for veins when performing venipuncture, and develop the skill to collect such specimens without undue trauma to the patient. You must be able to tolerate wearing personal protective equipment. You must be able to write legibly.
  • General physical health: Your general physical health must be such that you can perform light to moderate physical activity. Heavy lifting is generally not required.
  • General mental health: Your general mental health must be such that you can maintain attention to detail and interact effectively with other medical personnel and with patients.

Which locations offer this program?

Akron Campus
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