Medical Laboratory Professionals Week Celebrates Those Behind the Scenes
As the nation grapples with COVID-19, Medical Laboratory technicians are playing a critical role in testing and diagnostics. During National Medical Laboratory Professionals week, A-B Tech salutes its Medical Laboratory Tech faculty and students as frontline heroes during this pandemic through the celebration of medical laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in caring for patients.
A-B Tech’s Medical Laboratory Technician program also has several spots open for Fall 2020 enrollment and is current taking applications for early admission.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we keep hearing about the significance of testing, testing, testing,” said Department Chair Melissa Hyatt. “Who exactly performs this critical step of analysis to support the doctors and nurses in making a diagnosis? It is the Medical Laboratory professionals, the unsung heroes, working tirelessly behind the scenes to contribute to the health and well-being of our communities.”
Students at A-B Tech learn how to perform clinical laboratory procedures in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunohematology to be used for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
“The healthcare professionals extensively trained in the scientific applications to patient care. Cutting edge science and technology begins in the laboratory as we have witnessed with the development and implementation of accurate testing for COVID-19,” Hyatt said.
For the past three years, all of A-B Tech’s graduates have been placed in jobs and more technicians are needed. “The problem may stem from the fact that med lab techs aren’t as visible and as known as other members of the health care team such as nurses,” Hyatt said.
Lab techs earn a median salary of about $44,000 and there are 257 annual job openings just in the region due to growth in the career, according to Career Coach.
Daily tasks for a medical laboratory professional include:
- Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.
- Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
- Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
- Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
- Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
“The most suited and successful students have an interest in science, are very detail oriented, good at critical thinking and multitasking,” said Hyatt. “A majority of our students are individuals who want to work in health care but prefer limited patient contact. This a 100 percent exact science field. That’s where detail oriented and organization are needed. Our students are very intentional about their career choices.”