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All About Medical Lab Technician Jobs

December 10, 2021

Not all healthcare careers require direct interaction with patients. You can have a positive impact on people’s lives while still working behind the scenes! One of these careers is a Medical Lab Technician, or MLT, known to be one of the most important team members in the medical lab. Their responsibility is to collect, test and evaluate sample results that are ordered by the doctor. 

For students who are looking to take this path and work as a medical lab tech, you must be able to work in a team with physicians and scientists, be detail-oriented and follow strict procedures.

In this article we will be talking about medical lab technician job duties and responsibilities, skills and qualifications required, and much more.

What Does a Technician Do in a Medical Laboratory?

Medical lab techs perform lab tests using a microscope or other advanced lab equipment. These tests are usually chemical analyses of body fluids, including such as blood and urine, that are ordered by physicians to detect abnormalities or diseases in patients. They also set up, maintain, clean and test the sterility of lab equipment.

One of the most common questions about medical lab technician jobs is if being a lab technician is a technical job, and the answer is yes. The work that lab techs do is considered technical as they use many techniques and sophisticated equipment that requires technical knowledge to operate in order to diagnose medical conditions from tissue, fluid and other samples.

Medical lab techs play an essential role in the healthcare sector as they have additional duties and responsibilities that save people's lives, like matching blood compatibility for transfusions, assisting physicians with diagnosis and treatments of diseases, issuing reports with recorded test data, and making sure all medical laboratory safety guidelines are strictly followed at all times.

Medical Lab Technician duties and responsibilities?

A Medical Lab Technician's job is to perform lab tests and procedures ordered by doctors to detect all types of abnormalities and medical conditions.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a Medical Lab Technician:

medical lab job

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Soft Skills

A medical lab technician job requires several skills to be able to succeed in this career and to effectively perform their daily duties. Including the hard skills learned in school, all medical techs should acquire the following soft skills to become successful medical lab technicians. 

Medical Lab Technician (MLT) Hard Skills

Medical lab equipment is mostly electronic and high-tech equipment which requires some hard skills to learn how to use, here is a list of all the hard skills you need for a medical lab technician job:

What Are the Career Options for a Medical Laboratory Technician?

Medical lab techs have ample career options since their skills and technical knowledge can be applied to multiple areas in the healthcare sector. For instance, some medical lab techs can work exclusively with blood samples at blood banks, while others can specialize in specific tests to diagnose diseases like diabetes or cancer.

Some of the most popular career options for medical laboratory technicians include:

  1. Clinical chemistry - Lab techs with this specialty perform tests that require chemical reactions to determine the levels of various chemical compounds in bodily fluids.
  2. Molecular biology - Lab techs in this role detect pathogens using two main methods: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunochromatography.
  3. Immunology - Lab techs dedicated to this area antibody tests to diagnose autoimmune diseases and other medical conditions.
  4. Microbiology - Lab techs who do this test for contaminants using diagnostic methods such as culturing, Gram stains, and biochemical testing.
  5. Blood banking - Most of these lab techs work as phlebotomists and blood transfusion specialists.

Medical Lab Technologist Programs Ontario

To become a medical lab tech in Canada, and specifically in Ontario, candidates should graduate from a Canadian MLT program offered by one of the over 6 universities in the province that are currently offering medical laboratory science as part of their academic program. However, people in this field can practice in Ontario even if they completed a medical lab technologist program outside of the province or the country. In these cases, external programs need to be assessed by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) to determine eligibility.

Another important step to practice in Ontario is to get registered with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO), which is the regulatory body for medical laboratory technology practice in the province. According to their website "the CMLTO exists so that, in Ontario, the public’s right to quality medical laboratory services is protected by providing self-regulation and leadership to the practice of medical laboratory technologists. Further, the CMLTO exists to ensure such services are provided by ethical and competent practitioners to maximize health outcomes."

The reason why registration with the CMLTO is necessary is that medical lab technologists are one of Ontario’s regulated health professions. To be registered as a practising member of the college, candidates must complete an online application process that is generally processed within three weeks and involves paying a non-refundable application fee that must be submitted with the application and annual registration fees, if the application is approved.

Best Tips for Medical Lab Technician Job Cover Letter and Resume

After graduating from a medical lab technologist program, the next step is finding a job in the field. And for that, we have our best tips for writing a medical lab technician job cover letter and resume:

  1. Highlight your skills - Make sure to include hard and soft skills from the list previously provided in this article to highlight who you are as a healthcare worker.
  2. Include all your relevant work experience - Yes, that means internships too. You need to provide employers with as much information as possible about your experience in the field, as well as the names of employers, location, and duration of the job.
  3. Don't forget the certifications you've earned - Certifications are excellent to show that you are committed to your career and believe in continuous improvement and education. Certifications are also that extra element that can help you negotiate for a higher salary or additional perks.
  4. Use the Caring Support Resume Builder - Where else are you going to find a resume builder exclusively designed for the healthcare sector? Take advantage of how quick and easy it is to format a resume on our platform to create as many resumes as you want for every job opportunity you apply to. Sign up to Caring Support to get started.
  5. Make the most of your cover letter - Cover letters are the perfect complement to a good resume. Use them to provide employers with additional information about you and why you are perfect for the role that interests you.

Medical Lab Technicians Canada Salary

Last, but not least, let's talk about medical lab technicians' salaries in Canada.

According to multiple sources, medical laboratory technicians usually earn between $23.94/hour and $44.51/hour in Canada. Other sources indicate that, depending on the province, the typical full-time annual salary for this occupation ranges from $45,000 to $65,000.

In conclusion, being a medical lab technician is a great opportunity to help you build your career in the healthcare field.

We hope that this article was informative and educational for you and for the people that have an interest in pursuing this as a career. If you are, or you know someone that is a medical lab technician, you can sign up for Caring Support to start developing your career with tons of employment opportunities we have available!  

We hope that this article was informative and educational. f you are, or you know someone that works as a medical lab technician, sign up for Caring Support to discover the tons of employment opportunities we have available!  

If you have any questions about Medical Lab Technician (MLT), or questions about how to join our platform as a healthcare worker, please don't hesitate to leave us a comment below or contact us directly.

About The Author
Fatma Turki
Digital Marketing Intern

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