Medical Lab Assistant Overview
A medical lab assistant collects samples and performs various tests to analyze the fluids of the body, its tissues and other substances. A medical lab assistant can do some or all of the following:
- Conduct tests of body fluids, such as urine and blood, to see if the body is acting normally.
- Collect blood samples that are used in blood transfusions, identifying the number of cells in the sample, the morphology of the cell as well as the blood type.
- Use equipment that can do several tests as once.
- Enter data from patients into logs and put the results into medical records.
A medical lab assistant is going to work most of the time under the supervision of a laboratory manager.
Medical Lab Assistant Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a medical lab assistant can make up to $36,000 per year, depending on the actual duties. Some of the higher paying positions in the field are in the federal government, while the lower paying jobs tend to be in doctors’ offices.
Medical Lab Assistant Jobs and Careers
BLS states that the employment of professionals in this career is expected to grow by about 11% in the next decade, which is about fast as average when compared to other occupations. Overall, there is an expectation that this job will grow because there is a significant aging of the population and more people are going to be diagnosed with cancer and diabetes. This will necessitate the hiring of more medical lab assistants.
Medical Lab Assistant Online Programs
To become a medical lab assistant, there are many good certification programs available. Some of the best programs include:
Featured Online School Offerings
Medical Lab Assistant Requirements
Most medical lab assistants have an associate’s degree or some sort of certification to work in this field. If you are interested in this job, you should have a high school diploma and have had classes in chemistry, biology and mathematics. Your associate’s degree program should have a number of classes in science and clinical laboratory science. Sometimes you can get a one year certification from a hospital for this career, if you already have a degree in a related field, such as nursing or science.
There are several nationally recognized agencies that accredit medical lab assistants. Some of these include the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
Medical Lab Assistant Scholarships
Below are some of the scholarships that are available to become a medical lab assistant:
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): Offers several scholarships for students in the medical laboratory field.
- University of Washington Medical Technology Scholarships: Offered to medical technology students at various levels.