A medical laboratory technologist is just like the light and camera crew on a movie set, a very important part of a movie, but often forgotten. Which is not that great as a movie would not happen without them, just like healthcare would have been very different without laboratory technologists, as more than 80 percent of all medical decisions are based on the results a lab technologist provides. However, for most people who don’t have a clue about what happening behind the closed doors of a medical laboratory, think a lab tech only draw blood from a patient’s body, while those who collect blood are called phlebotomists.
So, if you are thinking to be a laboratory technologist then it’s a great choice, as it is quite an interesting career option and alongside you can also serve the society. However, the profession of a laboratory scientist is not for everyone, and as said earlier, the profession is often misunderstood.
So, if you have an idea how a medical laboratory technologist work and if you are thinking to become one in the near future, then let’s talk about few qualities a lab technologist must posses.
Scientific Knowledge is the heart of any medical laboratory technologist’s career. Every lab technologist needs very strong knowledge of science that includes, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics and microbiology. Especially a laboratory technologist must have the knowledge of how chemicals react with one another and about chemical composition.
A medical laboratory technologist also needs to be proficient enough in different Technological Areas. One must know how to use various software like electronic medical record software, test-routing software, test result delivery software and laboratory information system software. Additionally, a technologist also must have some knowledge about managing databases, spreadsheets and about computer hardware.
Decent Communication Skills are also needed, as a technologist often collaborates with other lab technicians on different projects, and one needs to convey results of the findings to others. A technologist also needs to communicate with doctors, patients, and others regarding different results. A lab technologist must posses listening and speaking skills along with writing skills to document all the data.
As said earlier, a lab technologist must learn to survive without any Recognition. If you want to become a lab technologist, you must know that you must work without any recognition. However, your work is important and necessary to help a patient to recover from any illness.
Make sure that you can work Around the Clock especially in a hospital, most of the labs are open 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week including holidays and weekends. A lab technologist can be called anytime in any shift, and you may have to work for long hours.
You need to Care about Patients, as sometimes you need to go extra miles to find a result which can be stressful at times. However, as 80 percent of the doctor’s decision will be based upon the lab’s result, it’s worth to go that extra mile. Still, if you are not always willing to go that extra mile, then the job of laboratory technologist is not for you, as all the times you are working to save a patient’s life.
Other than all these a desire to learn, being flexible and organized will allow you to be a successful laboratory technologist. However, most of these skills are needed to be worked upon and to be developed over time.