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Clinical Lab Technician

What is a clinical lab technician?

A clinical lab technician collects and tests different biological samples, such as tissue, blood, urine, and other substances. They work in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and clinics. A clinical lab technician may also be referred to as a clinical lab assistant, medical lab technician, laboratory assistant, or lab tech.

Some of the tasks that a clinical lab technician performs include:

  • Collecting and reporting data based on test results
  • Performing analyses and tests on human urine, blood, tissue, or spinal fluid
  • Discussing findings and results of lab tests with physicians
  • Operating sophisticated lab equipment
  • Identify infective microorganisms

Clinical lab technicians may pursue different specialties, including phlebotomist (collects blood for testing), microbiology technician (studies microscopic organisms such as bacteria), or histotechnician (studies and tests tissue samples).

Why are clinical lab technicians important for healthcare?

Clinical lab technicians play a crucial role in diagnosing health conditions because they are responsible for discovering the absence or presence of disease. They also provide this data to physicians, who can then determine the best treatment for a patient.

In addition to identifying infective microorganisms or the chemical constituents of body fluids, clinical lab technicians also crossmatch donor blood for transfusions, ensuring there is a match, and the blood is safe for the patient.

Clinical lab technicians can also determine how effective specific treatments are by measuring drug levels in the blood.