If you live in Baton Rouge and are interested in healthcare careers, have you considered the possibility of becoming a medical lab technician? Or perhaps you don’t live in the capital yet, but you’ve been planning to relocate for school. With a rich history as the birthplace of blues and unparalleled Cajun and Creole cuisine, it’s a great place to live and work!
Certified medical lab techs do critical work helping doctors diagnose different types of medical conditions. In fact, it could be your work that uncovers a patient’s mysterious ailment such as an untreated thyroid condition.
Typically, MLTs work under the supervision of lab technologists or lab supervisors and focus on more routine tests, while lab technologists may perform more complex procedures. In your role, you collect, test, and evaluate samples (blood, urine, or tissue samples) to detect the presence of abnormal conditions or diseases, like an infection, immune dysfunction, or other abnormality. Prenatal testing is another area of testing that lab techs might handle.
“Collecting” a sample involves people skills because taking that sample means interacting with a patient directly. For example, when you take a blood sample, you’re not only talking with the patient, you’re also putting them at ease before the procedure. A patient might be nervous about or even afraid of being poked by a needle, or they might feel extra anxious about what might be ailing them. Your compassion and empathy help keep them calm. Don’t worry, you can learn these skills as part of your training.
Another part of the job includes communicating with physicians and other healthcare professionals about a patient’s results. You’re their partner in detecting disease and other medical conditions. Being an effective MLT also involves accuracy because record-keeping is part of the job and requires attention to detail. Lab techs also ensure samples are tested properly so that doctors can get the correct diagnosis.
Typically, lab technicians work in hospitals, diagnostic labs, and doctors’ offices, but you could also work at a university lab, outpatient clinic, or long-term care facility. The field offers solid growth potential, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As our large boomer population ages, lab techs will be more needed than ever.
If helping doctors track down disease appeals to you, a career as a medical lab tech may be a great choice. Learn more about the Medical Laboratory Technician program at Fortis College in Baton Rouge and call us today at 855-436-7847 to speak to an admissions advisor.