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Medical Laboratory

Paramedical in Medical Laboratory Technology

Medical Laboratory

Medical Laboratory Technology also called Clinical laboratory science is an allied health profession which is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease through the use of clinical laboratory tests. These tests help doctors to detect, diagnose and treat diseases. A Medical Laboratory Technologist (M.L.T) do these tests by analyzing body fluids, tissues, blood typing, microorganism screening, chemical analyses, cell counts of  human body etc.

Medical Laboratory play an important role in collecting the information’s needed, sampling, testing, reporting and documentation of these investigations. They determine the presence, extent or absence of disease and provide data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

There are two levels of medical laboratory workers – Technicians and Technologists.

  • Medical technologists work in five major areas of the laboratory i.e, in Blood banking, Clinical Chemistry (chemical analysis of body fluids), Hematology (blood related), Immunology (study of immune system) and Microbiology (study of bacteria and other disease organisms). They also work in the areas of cytotechnology (study of human tissue), phlebotomy, urinalysis, coagulation, parasitology and serology. Phlebotomists draw and test blood whereas Blood bank technologists determine correct blood types for transfusions. Histology technicians cut and stain tissue samples.
  • Medical technologists have more training and job responsibilities. They perform complex tests such as microscopic examinations of tissues, blood and other body fluids to detect evidence of disease and detect the presence of bacteria, fungi, parasites etc and chemical tests to determine blood cholesterol levels. They also match blood samples for transfusions and test drug levels in blood to determine how patients are responding to medications. They are often responsible for making sure that testing is done accurately. In some labs, technologists conduct research under the supervision of medical researchers.
  • Medical technicians do routine laboratory testing manually according to instructions. They work under Technologists or supervisors. Technicians may prepare specimens and operate machines that automatically analyze samples. In addition to running tests, technicians set up, clean, and maintain laboratory equipment, such as centrifuges, microscopes etc. They also prepare standard solutions for use in the lab. This involves measuring and mixing the correct amount of various chemicals.

Some of the courses offered in Lab Technology are Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology (B.M.L.T), Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (D.M.L.T). B.M.L.T course for Medical Lab Technologists is structured to train students in the clinical Laboratory analysis of blood, urine, feces, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, ascetic fluid etc to aid the doctors in arriving at a correct diagnosis and treatment of the disease. There are also Diploma / Certificate courses for lab technicians / assistants in general and in different specialties such as Diplomas in EEG Lab Technician, Histopathology Lab Technician etc.

Skills Required :

Medical Laboratory Technology Skills and Attributes

  1. A Medical Laboratory Technologist should be disciplined and attentive. As fire is a bad master, likewise the chemicals in the laboratory are good servants but very bad masters.
  2. A Medical Laboratory Technologist should also have the ability to conduct research, finish tasks with speed as well as with accuracy, to handle stress, make analytical judgment, interpreting technical/scientific data, knowledge of laboratory instrumentation, mechanical ability and the ability to use computers.

Courses Offered :

The three main courses available in medical laboratory technology are

  • B.Sc ( M.L.T ).
  • B. M. L. T ( Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology ).
  • D. M. L. T ( Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology ).

Eligibility & Admission Process :

The basic eligibility criteria for Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology (B.M.L.T) is 10+2  or equivalent with Science subjects Or Pre-University Vocational course from a recognized Board with laboratory Technology as Vocational subject. B.M.L.T  is a 3 year program.

Colleges :

  • Kasturba Medical college, Manipal – 576115 & Mangalore – 575001.
  • Medical college, Fort, Bangalore 560002.
  • Fr. Muller Institute of Medical Education Kankanady, Mangalore – 575005.
  • MR Medical College, Gulbarga – 585105.
  • Institute of Health Sciences, Vidyanagar, Mangalore – 575013.
  • Kidwai memorial Inst. of Oncology, Hosur Road, Bangalore – 560029.

Job Prospects & Salaries :

  1. The medical technologists are integral part of the medical profession. These professionals get involved in practical and technical work to aid correct diagnosis and in the effective functioning of Biochemical Laboratories.
  2. The career prospects in this field depend on the academic and technical skills of the technologist/technician. Initially he/she joins any laboratory as a certified medical laboratory technician. These days with the growth in the private sector there are so many private hospitals, nursing homes, blood banks, pathology laboratories etc. the demand for laboratory technicians is on the up-swing.
  3. With adequate knowledge and experience, Medical Laboratory Technologists can advance to supervisory or management positions in laboratories and hospitals. They can also work as Laboratory manager / Consultant / supervisor, health care Administrator, Hospital Outreach coordination, laboratory information system Analyst / Consultant, educational consultant / coordinator etc. Additional opportunities are available in molecular diagnostics, molecular biotechnology companies and in vitro fertilization laboratories as well as in research labs.

Remuneration :

The challenges and rewards of a Lab technician is high. Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow  fast. The salary ranges from Rs.6,500 – 10,000  per month in hospitals and in clinics.

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