What it is
Medical laboratory workers collect, test and analyze tissues, cells or fluids in order to diagnose or treat a disease. Phlebotomist jobs specifically involve drawing blood from patients. Medical laboratory technicians and technologists — sometimes referred to as clinical laboratory technicians and technologists — prepare the tissue, cell or fluid samples and examine them in a lab using microscopes or other equipment.
What it's like
Medical laboratory workers usually work in laboratories located in hospitals, clinics or independent facilities. Working hours vary depending on whether the lab is located in a hospital or other facility. Medical laboratory workers spend most of their time on their feet and receive masks and gloves for protection when working with samples like blood. Phlebotomist jobs can be located in a number of different healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices or blood banks. Phlebotomist jobs involve interacting well with people — especially people who might be squeamish about getting their blood drawn — and seeing multiple patients per day.
What it takes
Medical laboratory jobs require different levels of training. Phlebotomist jobs require the shortest amount of training and can be a steppingstone to other health careers. While some medical laboratory technicians are trained on the job, most employers prefer an associate’s degree. Clinical laboratory scientists and medical technologists are required to earn a bachelor’s degree.
To learn more about medical laboratory jobs, check out the job options to the right.
Jobs in this field
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