The term Medical Technologist often encompasses a range of different technical professionals who work in a clinical laboratory environment. Clinical Laboratory Technologists or Technicians are essentially scientists who play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases.
The average day at the office for medical laboratory personnel includes examining and analyzing bodily fluids and cells in the search for microorganisms including bacteria and parasites. They utilize microscopes, cell counters, automated machines, and a wide array of other sophisticated laboratory equipment to perform plethora of tests. Then they relay the results of those tests to doctors and physicians who communicate with the patients directly.
The job of Clinical Laboratory Technologist (as opposed to Clinical Laboratory Technician) is very analytical and the testing methods are very complex. The responsibilities of the tech often depend on the level of experience and advanced education in the subject. The requirements can involve chemical, biological, hematological, immunological, microscopic, and bacteriological testing. A Technologist will create cultures of body fluids and tissue samples to determine the presence of fungi, parasites, and other harmful microorganisms. They also analyze the concentration of glucose and cholesterol levels and match blood samples for transfusions.
Clinical Technicians perform less complex laboratory procedures such as preparing specimens and operating automated analyzers. They typically work under the direct supervision of Laboratory Technologist of Laboratory Manager who provides technical oversight. In addition, just like technologists, a technician may specialize in a certain area of medicine. For instance, a Phlebotomist is someone who specializes in collecting blood samples.
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