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Medical Lab Assistant | Roles and Responsibilities

Western Community College > Blog > Health Care > Medical Lab Assistant | Roles and Responsibilities

Have you ever wondered who the professionals involved in the diagnostic process are and who work tirelessly round the clock to ensure the lab tests are accurate? These professionals are referred to as medical lab assistants.

So, whether you’re planning to start a medical career or wish to know more about what does a medical lab assistant do, then this article is all you need to read! Let’s get started!

Responsibilities of a Medical Lab Assistant:

Some of the core Duties of a healthcare lab assistant role include:

  • Specimen Collection: Medical lab assistants have to collect various specimens such as blood, urine samples
  • Sample Processing: MLAs are responsible for labelling and sorting the samples for analysis.
  • Laboratory Equipment Maintenance: This duty involves cleaning, sterilizing, and making sure that the laboratory equipment is ready for use.
  • Data Entry: MLA’s are responsible for recording the patient’s condition and accurate test results.
  • Infection Control Protocols: MLAs follow the necessary protocols to protect the people around them from getting infectious.
  • Quality Control: Medical lab assistants thoroughly check quality of laboratory tests.

Specializations within Medical Laboratory Assistance

Role of a clinical laboratory aide slightly varies when the Medical laboratory assistants specialize in a particular field. Some of the specialization areas include:

  1. Clinic Chemistry: Medical laboratory assistants in the clinic chemistry field emphasize blood and other fluid analysis to analyze an individual’s health condition.
  2. Haematology: This field focuses on various types of blood tests.
  3. Microbiology: Lab Assistants in the microbiology field emphasize microorganisms such as bacteria and virus and identify their cultivation.

Where do MLAs work?

Medical lab assistants work in various places, such as the following:

  1. Hospitals and Medical Centers: MLA’s in hospital support patients by taking care of them and conducting regular diagnosis in hospital labs. 
  2. Research Labs: Medical lab assistants assist researchers who conduct scientific experiments.
  3. Public Health Laboratories: MLAs identify and detect any sort of health or disease threats in public labs.

MLA Essential Skills:

In order to accomplish the daily tasks of a medical lab aide, it is highly crucial that they have the following skills:

  • Attentive to details
  • Organized 
  • Technically Intelligent 
  • Flexible 
  • Adaptable to Evolution 
  • Patient
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem Solver

Educational Requirements for Medical Laboratory Assistants:

The educational requirements to become a medical laboratory assistant includes:

  • High School Diploma
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist Program
  • Job Training
  • Pursue Bachelor’s in MLA
  • Specialization

How to become a Medical lab Technologist:

The functions of a medical laboratory technician vary from those of medical laboratory assistants. If you wish to become a MLT, then you need to fulfil these requirements:

  • Get a Bachelor’s degree in MLS
  • Get enrolled in Medical lab Technologist course
  • Sharpen practical skills
  • Give exams to get certified in ASCP or AMT

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the difference between a Medical lab assistant and medical laboratory technician?
  2. Medical lab assistants prepare relatively basic samples for analysis whereas medical lab technicians carry out complex blood tests.
  3. Are medical lab assistants in high demand?
  4. Yes, medical laboratory assistants have a high demand.
  5. How long does it take to become a certified MLA?
  6. It takes around 1 to 2 years to become a certified MLA.
  7. What is the typical salary range for MLAs?
  8. The typical salary range for a medical laboratory assistant is $57225 annually.
  9. What are the challenges faced by MLAs in their daily work?
  10. Ensuring accuracy of specimen, maintaining records, following safety protocols at all times etc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, medical laboratory assistants are a crucial part of the healthcare industry that carry out numerous tasks that not only help patients but are also a great help to researchers and other health professionals in a healthcare setting. Some of the tasks performed by medical lab support staff, as mentioned in this informative guide, include collecting blood and other fluid specimen, organizing samples for analysis, maintaining and sterilizing lab equipment, keeping an eye on quality control and much more. These responsibilities require professionals with highly attentive to detail and organized skills in order to get things done accurately.

I hope this article answered your question, “what does a medical lab assistant do?”

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