Medical lab technicians or technologists work in medical laboratories.
They perform various types of tests on samples, like blood. Their goal is
to help diagnose and fight disease. They are an important part of every patient's
There are also medical laboratory technicians. Technologists have more
responsibilities than technicians. Most of the people who do laboratory work
Lab techs may retrieve test samples from patients. This includes urine,
blood and saliva. Back in the lab, techs use sophisticated instruments and
testing techniques. They analyze the samples by studying blood cells, human
tissue, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
People in this field work at hospitals, university labs, public health
agencies, independent labs, doctors' offices or pharmaceutical firms. Most
of these employers offer medical lab technicians a comfortable, clean work
environment and a regular daytime work schedule. Hospital lab techs may be
required to do shift and night work if the lab is open 24 hours a day.
You don't have to be in top physical condition to do this work. But you
should expect to spend a lot of time on your feet.
"Most of the day is spent standing at your lab station or walking around.
There's not much time to sit down," says medical lab technologist Lois Graves.
This is a good field for people who work well under pressure. Techs have
to balance a busy schedule with a need for absolute accuracy.
"It can get pretty stressful. There's no room for mistakes in this job,"
says Indiana medical lab technician Hugh Price.