Cert. in Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians may function behind the scenes, but the work that they do is exciting, varied and vital to the quality of a patient’s healthcare. Conducting lab tests ordered by doctors and other healthcare providers, these professionals work with human bodily fluids and tissue samples to determine diagnoses and identify abnormalities.

They work with microscopes, computers and other automated laboratory machines, where they keep detailed records of the data they compile.

Some medical laboratory technicians prefer the more generalist nature of work at a large hospital lab or independent facility while others pursue a specialty in areas such as immunology, microbiology and clinical chemistry. No matter which approach they choose, they are important members of the healthcare industry whose work is instrumental in determining the correct diagnoses.

Work Environment

Most medical laboratory technicians work in hospitals and medical or diagnostic laboratories; a smaller percentage work in research organisations or in other government agencies like the Police service and the military. While some of their work involves contact with infectious material or pungent fumes, technicians are always properly protected, wearing goggles, gloves, or masks for much of their workday. They generally keep regular business hours, though some work in the evenings, on nights, weekends, and some holidays, as needed by hospitals and other 24-hour facilities.

Necessary Skills and Qualities

In addition to their technical skills—such as the ability to understand and operate complex machinery, and to collect and analyze data—medical lab technicians must have an eye for detail. These employees must strive to obtain the most accurate results possible due to the importance of their work. They should possess good manual dexterity for working precisely with microscopic material, and have stamina, too, needed when spending extended time sitting and analyzing a specimen, or when on their feet for long periods during the workday.

Opportunities for Advancement

Medical lab technicians often become medical laboratory technologists—bachelor’s-degree-prepared professionals who perform more complex laboratory work and have a leadership role. Medical lab techs also have a good knowledge base to become scientists, researchers, or even transition into a senior or administrative role. They can also switch fields and work as veterinary, biologic, or chemistry lab technicians, working in school laboratories and training students during practicals. A medical laboratory technician works under the supervision of a medical technologist or physician to perform tests on tissue, blood and body fluids to help physicians diagnose and treat diseases.

Medical Lab Technician Job Description

  • Preparing blood, urine and tissue specimens for analysis
  • Using sophisticated laboratory equipment to look for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms
  • Monitoring tests and procedures
  • Analyzing the chemical content of fluids
  • Matching blood for transfusions
  • Testing for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment

Duration

1 years 6 Months for certificate (4 semesters)

Entry Requirements

• SSSCE/WASSCE with five {6} passes or equivalent (SSSCE: A-E WASSCE: A1-D7)
• Mature student with 1-year working experience in medical laboratory

Entry Requirements

  • SSSCE/WASSCE with five {6} passes or equivalent (SSSCE: A-C WASSCE: A1-C6)
  • Matured applicants must be 25 years and above with 3 years working experience and above and must pass selection interview (oral and written)

NB: APPLICANTS MUST BE A SCIENCE STUDENT

  • Students who have attained a certificate in the medical laboratory can also apply to do a diploma for two years.