Medical Laboratory Technologists are like detectives. By taking samples of patients' tissues and bodily fluids, and carefully testing them, they help doctors detect and diagnose illness. They use microscopes, chemical analyzers and other high-tech instruments to carry out tests.
Medical Laboratory Technologists analyze and interpret the results of the tests. This requires an in-depth understanding of the biological and chemical sciences. Whatever they find they convey to the patient's doctor.
Because most laboratories operate 18 or even 24 hours a day, many technologists have to do a lot of shift work. Evening and weekend work is common. Full-time Medical Laboratory Technologists work between 35 and 45 hours a week. Part-time employment may be available.
Medical Laboratory Technologists work in hospitals, private sector medical laboratories, pharmaceutical firms and research institutes. A few work in police forensic laboratories.
Medical Laboratory Technologists can find work in virtually any country in the world.
. $38 000 - $46 000 per year.
(a) Personal Characteristics
Medical Laboratory Technologists should be flexible and hard-working. They must have strong manual and technical skills. People skills are also necessary to get along with co-workers, other health professionals, and deal effectively with patients.
(b) High School
A high school diploma with an emphasis on English, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science and math is an essential beginning. Admission requirements for post-secondary education should be checked carefully.
(c) Post Secondary
Some colleges offer training programs for Medical Laboratory Assistants, another health care profession related to Medical Laboratory Technologists. These programs last approximately 6-months to one year and may include a clinical placement. This program is currently offered at NSCC Marconi Campus, Sydney.
Medical Laboratory Technologists need a two - three year diploma program in Medical Lab Technology at a college or university or a bachelor's degree in Medical Laboratory Science. Both routes require a supervised clinical or practical training period. By 2007, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) , at the new Halifax campus, will be offering this program as a 2-year diploma program.
After graduation from post-secondary training in Medical Laboratory technology you must successfully complete the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exams. Up to date information is available on their website, www.csmls.org.
In order to practice in Nova Scotia, you must have successfully completed the exam for CSMLS and register with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists (NSCMLT). For more information visit www.nscmlt.org.
The CSMLS states that Medical Laboratory Science jobs are on the top 20 list of best jobs. In the 1999 best seller, Jobs Rated Almanac: The Best and Worst Jobs, they ranked 16 in a list of 250 jobs.
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