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What does a Biomedical Scientist do?

A biomedical scientist works in the health care industry and plays an essential role in helping physicians diagnose illnesses. By evaluating tissue and fluid samples, they are able to offer a diagnosis and a course of action for someone who has suffered from a health related incident, such as a heart attack. They carry out blood transfusions and are active in the area of medical research and study. A biomedical scientist works with physicians to guarantee that the best care possible is provided to patients.

biomedical scientist

Biomedical scientists work in three area of science: infection science, blood science and cellular science.

Infection science

Infection science addresses the identification of micro-organisms that are responsible for disease. A biomedical scientist working in infection science will create antibiotic treatments and monitor the effectiveness of vaccines against viruses.

Blood science

Among other things, blood sciences include the evaluation of fluid samples to identify risks and diseases and the determining of donor/recipient compatibility. This area of discipline seeks to understand diseases related to blood, as well as the role of the immune system in battling disease.

Cellular science

Cellular science deals with the evaluation of acquired cell samples. A biomedical scientist in this area of discipline will study diseases tissue samples, evaluate tissues obtained through tests such as PAP smears and analyze tissue samples to pinpoint fertility issues.

How Can I Become a Biomedical Scientist?

In order to do clinical work, a doctoral degree in biological sciences or a medical degree is generally required. In addition to this, post-doctoral research may be a prerequisite for working in your desired field. A prospective biomedical scientist with a bachelor’s degree can register for a doctoral program in a specific field, or enroll in a joint medical-doctoral program. This will enable them to become a practicing physician with the necessary research skills to become a scientist.

Biomedical scientists are an intricate part of the health care industry. By working closely with physicians to diagnose sicknesses and abnormalities, they are able to help guarantee the best health care to patients.

What does a Lab Tech do?

A laboratory technician, also called a lab tech, performs a variety of tests on bodily fluids and cells to detect diseases, bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms. A lab tech often collects and prepares specimens that other, more skilled medical workers use to determine blood types, test blood to gauge the effectiveness of prescribed drugs, or analyze the chemical makeup of fluids.

lab tech

Tools of the trade and crucial skills

Lab techs often work under the supervision of more experienced laboratory technologists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. While lab technologists might perform much of the critical analytical work, they are dependent upon lab techs to help prepare specimens and operate a wide range of scientific equipment. Examples include drawing blood samples and cutting and staining tissue specimens for the technologist to examine under a microscope. The tests performed by lab techs often are less complex and not likely to produce errors, the Web site Medical Jobs states.

Instrumentation used by lab techs and technologists includes cell counters, microscopes, and computerized and highly specialized equipment capable of performing a wide range of testing procedures. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that much of the work done by lab techs has become more automated, and as a result, these professionals must be highly analytical and able to use good judgement.

Education and training

Lab techs typically need to complete an associate degree or certificate program, while technologists usually need at least a bachelor’s degree for employment, the BLS states. Length of coursework varies by program, but a typical community college lab tech program that culminates in an associate degree requires roughly 105 semester hours. The majority of classes in medical technology programs focus on clinical work and experience, with a handful of general education courses mixed in as well.

Core classes for medical technician training programs could include many of the following:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical chemistry
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Clinical microbiology

With additional schooling, many lab techs advance to better-paying jobs or positions with more responsibility, such as laboratory technologist, histotechnician or cytotechnologist.

Job prospects and earnings potential

The BLS predicts growth of 16 percent for medical lab techs. Hospitals are the main employer of lab techs, but many work in physicians offices and diagnostic laboratories as well.

What does a Medical Laboratory Technician do?

What job could be more rewarding than being part of a team that helps detect and diagnose illnesses and diseases in people so they can embark on the proper treatment plans and regain good health? If you are detail-oriented, ambitious, and hope to enter a field with outstanding employment and growth potential, take a closer look at a future career as a medical laboratory technician.

Medical laboratory technicians are essentially medical sleuths, finding answers to a number of various tests per requests from physicians. Using specialized lab techniques and equipment, technicians analyze blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids and then describe the findings so doctors can move forward with treatment strategies, further examination, or continued monitoring of the disease or illness. The information discovered by these professionals is crucial for the entire health care team, especially the patient.

medical laboratory technician

Education and specialization for medical laboratory technicians

Those studying to become a medical laboratory technician are required to have their high school diploma before earning their associate degree in medical laboratory technology, which includes hands-on clinical training. They must then pass the national certification exam given by one of the following:

  • Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists
  • National Certification Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel
  • American Medical Technologists

Medical laboratory technician students can specialize in hematology, immunology, chemistry, blood banking, or microbiology. A background (high school courses) and deep interest in science and mathematics is a great benefit for anyone studying to enter the field.

Salaries and career potential for medical laboratory technicians

Jobs opportunities are expected to grow by about 14 percent for medical laboratory technicians, which is faster than average for all careers. Employment potential is excellent, especially in hospitals and testing laboratories.

Advancement opportunities for medical laboratory technicians

Medical laboratory technicians often take their experience, ambition, and further education to more advanced positions in the workplace, such as supervisory careers. You can pursue professional certification and degrees in a biological science, chemistry, business management, medical technology, computer science, or another specialized area to increase your chances for job advancement.

Take your scientific mind and desire to help to a new level by becoming part of the medical teams that assist patients with proper diagnoses and treatments.