What do medical technicians do?

Introduction: What do medical technicians do? Medical technicians or clinical laboratory scientists are the detectives behind the scenes in the healthcare industry. They are expert scientists who perform tests to help diagnose and treat disease.

For instance, their tests can confirm a case of diabetes, recognize potentially harmful drug levels, identify bacteria in a blood or wound infection, or use molecular biology techniques. Medical technicians test fluid and tissue samples to assist doctors in diagnosing and treating their patients correctly. 

What do medical technicians do?

A medical technologist serves experienced laboratory work following established clinical procedures and performs chemical and physical tests on patient specimens for clinical diagnosis. Medical technicians perform laboratory tests, techniques, experiments, and analyses to supply data for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease.

They examine body fluids such as blood, urine, and the spinal cord to determine the presence of normal and abnormal components. Medical technicians typically work in laboratory facilities.

What do medical technicians do?

Medical technicians are behind the scenes in a lab or doctor’s office, testing and analyzing bodily fluids (such as blood and urine) and tissue samples. These laboratory test results help diagnose and treat patients.

Medical technicians also called medical laboratory scientists, clinical laboratory technologists, or technicians, usually work in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, physician offices, outpatient maintenance centers, or school campuses.

If you work in a miniature laboratory or clinic, you may perform various tests. In a larger setting, mastering is more common. Some specialization options include:

  • Immunohematology technologists collect, classify, and ready blood for transfusion.
  • Immunology technologists examine samples that include the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies.
  • Chemistry technicians prepare samples and analyze body fluids’ chemical and hormonal content.
  • Cytotechnologists examine the body’s cells underneath a microscope for abnormalities (such as cancer).
  • Microbiology technologists study and identify bacteria and other microorganisms.

What responsibilities are common to medical technologist jobs?

  • Studies blood cells, their number, and morphology using a microscopic technique.
  • Analyze test results and enter results into the computer.
  • Conduct blood group, kind, and compatibility tests for transfusion purposes.
  • Troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair any problems with equipment used in the laboratory.
  • Perform radiographic procedures at a technically adequate level.
  • Maintained laboratory quality assurance by performing proficiency checks.
  • Minimize the potential for liability by following established practices and procedures for completing X-rays as requested by the physician.
  • Perform radiographic functions at a technically acceptable level.

What are the general qualifications for medical technologist jobs?

  • You should have 2+ years of experience as a Medical Technologist.
  • Valid ASCP certification is required.
  • Experience in a hospital laboratory setting is selected.
  • You have hematology, blood banking, serology, immunohematology, bacteriology, histology, or chemistry expertise.
  • Must possess a strong eye for detail.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  • Deeply analytical with strong mathematical skills
  • Able to lift 20 pounds

Medical Technologist vs. Lab Technician

The training of a medical technician is more extensive than a lab technician. While both accomplish lab tests, a technologist’s training allows them to do more complex work, such as molecular, genetic, or genomic testing. Lab technicians typically need an associate’s degree to practice.

Medical technicians may participate in many pathology areas, containing immunology, microbiology, genetics, histology, hematology, and blood banking.

The function of a medical technologist is generally specified by the branch of pathology in which their lab specializes but is otherwise confined by the tools available to them.

Clinical pathology

A medical technologist conducts and monitors lab tests in clinical pathology on body fluids and tissues. These tests are done to look for signs of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Samples that a medical technologist will look at include:

  •  blood
  • Urine
  • wholesale
  • stool
  • Spinal fluid
  • Pleural fluid
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Joint fluid
  • The pulp

Anatomical Pathology

In anatomical pathology, a medical technologist will look at tissue taken during a biopsy or surgery. While a technologist can perform some tests, others require the expertise of a pathologist.

A technologist can help with exams, including:

Gross Examination: Looking at the tissues with the naked eye.

Histology: Examining tissues under a microscope.

Cytopathology: Examining loose cells under a microscope

Electron Microscopy: Using a special high-resolution microscope to view models

Cytogenetics: Looking at chromosomes with special technology.

Subspecialties of medical technology

Some technicians work exclusively in clinical or anatomical pathology. Others participate in both, which is called common pathology. Others still work within a narrower field of practice.

Transfusion Medicine

A medical technologist in transfusion medicine ensures the blood bank has an adequate safe blood supply. They can also perform blood typing and screen for infectious diseases like HIV and viral hepatitis.

Forensic Pathology

In forensic pathology, a medical technologist will assist in evaluating medical and physical evidence after a person’s sudden, unexpected death.

While the forensic pathologist is responsible for obtaining samples (such as clothing fibers or tissue from the body), the medical technologist runs many tests to determine the cause of death.

Organ-specific pathology

There are subspecialties of pathology that focus on specific organ systems. A technician in these subspecialties usually needs additional training to learn about different diseases and their diagnosis.

Sub-features have:

Cardiovascular Pathology: Affecting the Heart and Circulatory System

Endocrine pathology: involving the glands and tissues that make hormones.

Gastrointestinal pathology: concerning the upper and lower digestive tract

Genitourinary pathology: involving the genitals and urethra

Gynecological Pathology: Involving the Female Reproductive System

Neuropathology: Involving the Brain and Nervous System.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: Involving the Mouth, Jaws, and Related Structures

Orthopedic pathology: involving bones, joints, and corresponding structures

Pulmonary pathology: concerning the lungs and respiratory system

Renal pathology: involving the kidney

What do medical technologists earn?

Medical technologist salaries vary by state, city, organization, and subspecialty. According to the ASCP 2021 Salary Survey of Medical Laboratories in the US, the median annual salary for histology technologists varies from $60,162 to $80,189 for cytogenetic technologists. 

For lead or coordinator functions, salaries for these jobs rose to $66,129 and $90,488, respectively. Most medical technicians in the US are utilized in academic and non-academic hospitals. Just about 14.5 percent are employed in outpatient labs.

Final Words

A medical technologist is a health professional trained to perform tests on fluid and tissue samples to help diagnose diseases. Although they don’t usually interact with patients, the work they do in the lab is critical to patient care.

Medical technicians require a lot of education, training, and certification to do their jobs well. They may also focus on a particular area of ​​medical technology they are particularly interested in, such as forensic pathology or transfusion medicine.

Also read: Are medical technologists in demand?; Medical Technology Vs Biotechnology; Is Medical Technology A Good Career?