California Medical Lab Technician Schools.
Medical lab technician programs in California offer training programs that lead to a career as a medical lab tech. Medical lab techs do not work directly with patients but they are an extremely important member of a healthcare organization. They typically spend their time analyzing patient samples and performing tests used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illness. Most programs confer two-year associate’s and four-year bachelor’s degrees upon completion of required courses. Medical lab technician job openings are expected to increase by 14% making it one of the faster growing occupations. The median 50% make $45,000- $64,000 per year.
What Does a Lab Technician Do?
If you are considering a career in the health care industry but you don't want to go with the traditional nurse or physician route, you should take a strong look at becoming a Lab technician. Lab technicians do all of the hands-on work inside laboratories, within a wide range of healthcare fields such as medicine, research, and chemistry.
Lab technicians generally work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, and public health facilities.
The main duties of a general health care lab technician are to:
- Receive, process, and analyze data samples, whether:
- Perform tests and/or experiments on data samples and report the results
- Use, clean, and maintain various pieces of equipment
- Handle and store data samples and chemicals safely.
Lab technicians must also be able to carry out such administrative tasks as:
- Document the procedures they have performed and the outcome of the procedures
- Prepare invoices and orders
- Maintain lab records
- Use computers
- Implement and maintain filing systems
- Communicate effectively
Safety is another important element to the work of a lab technician. Lab techs must:
- Understand safety rules and procedures for the lab or institution where they are working
- Implement emergency procedures if a spill or fire were to occur
- Wear protective clothing that covers the feet, head, eyes, and hands
- If working with chemicals, lab technicians must ensure that the lab where they are working is properly ventilated
Individuals who seek out careers as lab technicians seem to be generally very detail oriented and problem solvers. These individuals will have obtained a solid foundation in high school in many divisions of science - such as chemistry, biology, computer science, and math. To become a lab technician, formal and clinical education in a school or program that is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) is a must.
Upon completion, students take an exam through the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The NAACLS will not allow students to sit for exams who have not received their education from accredited programs. When students pass their examinations they become certified to perform lab tests. Many technicians who have this certification are known in the medical community as MLTs - medical licensed technicians.
The need for lab technicians is great and even exceeds the need of both nurses and physicians. With lab technicians already in high demand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for lab techs will continue to increase by 17 percent over the next few years. This career path is wide open and is ranked as number 18 out of a list of 250 jobs for being one of the best careers. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health sector, a career as a medical lab technician is worth considering.
List of Schools Offering Medical Lab Technician Programs in California
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- Medical Assisting (D)
- Medical Assisting (A)