Laboratory Technology as a course is a branch of science that studies analytical laboratory procedures / laboratory-based investigations within biological, chemical, physical and life science areas.
Medical Laboratory Technology performs analytical laboratory procedures on blood and other body fluids, collecting blood specimens through phlebotomy. The Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) performs a wide range of routine laboratory procedures under the supervision of a Pathologist, Medical Technologist or Laboratory Supervisor. They perform various complicated hematological, chemical, immunological and microbiological tests on blood and body fluids.
A medical laboratory technologist performs complex tests that help other healthcare professionals such as physicians detect, diagnose and treat diseases. One who works in a small lab typically performs a variety of tests, but an individual employed in a larger lab is more likely to specialize in a particular area.
Scientific laboratory technicians carry out the work that allows scientists to concentrate on, and perform, the more complex analytical processes in the laboratory.
Scope of Laboratory Technology
With a science background and the desire to support analysis, investigation, research and development, you could work as a scientific laboratory technician
As a scientific laboratory technician, you'll be involved in a variety of laboratory-based investigations within biological, chemical, physical and life science areas.
You may carry out sampling, testing, measuring, recording and analysing of results as part of a scientific team. Your job is to provide all the required technical support to enable the laboratory to function effectively, while adhering to correct procedures and health and safety guidelines.
As a scientific laboratory technician, you'll carry out work that assists in the advancement and development of modern medicine and science. The work plays an important role in the foundation stages of research and development (R&D) and in scientific analysis and investigation.
Skills needed to be successful in Laboratory Technology
You will need to show:
- the ability to learn specific, practical techniques and apply this knowledge to solve technical problems;
- good hand-eye coordination and the ability to use technical equipment with accuracy;
- the ability to maintain and calibrate technical equipment;
- time management skills in order to work on several different projects at the same time;
- flexibility in order to work with and provide support for a number of people;
- excellent oral communication skills in order to work effectively with colleagues from all parts of the organisation and to explain complex techniques to interested parties;
- experience in providing demonstrations and writing technical reports;
- teamwork skills and patience;
- attention to detail.
In addition to the technical skills you will learn in school and an aptitude for science, you will need the following soft skills to succeed in this field:
- Active Listening: Strong listening skills will allow you to communicate with medical personnel and patients.
- Problem Solving: You must be able to identify problems and solutions.
- Critical Thinking: This skill will allow you to determine your options when making decisions or solving problems, evaluate them and then choose the one that has the most promising outcome.
- Attention to Detail: Precision is of the utmost importance when conducting testing procedures.
- Reading Comprehension: You must be able to understand and follow physicians' written instructions.
Here are some requirements from actual job announcements found:
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Personal computer skills, including strong typing ability and proficient use of Microsoft Office
- Must be self-motivated and able to prioritize work
- Must be able to accommodate scheduling adjustments, off shifts, holiday, on-call, and weekend work assignments
- Ability to communicate, consult and interact with other members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education.
Career Options and Job Prospects in Laboratory Technology
- Radiologic Technologist
- Nuclear Medicine Technologist
- Laboratory Technologist
- Hematology Technician.
- Clinical Laboratory Scientist
- Biological Technician
- Chemical Technician
Admission Requirements for the study of Laboratory Technology in Nigeria
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Science Laboratory Technology;
You require; Five SSCE credit passes in English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Science Laboratory Technology under the Faculty of Sciences in the above Universities include;
Biology, Chemistry and either Physics or Mathematics.