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There are three different types of lab technologist jobs: testing samples, using analytical equipment, and writing reports. Lab technologist jobs are found in testing laboratories, also known as clinical laboratories. The primary role of the technologist is to complete tests on biological samples, identify any anomalies, and report the findings to the physician.
Over the past few years, this use of technology has caused a shift in this role from strictly testing to one of analysis and validation. Computer programs and tools are able to complete a large number of standard tests, but the lab technologist is still required to review the results and physically look at the sample to ensure the findings are correct and nothing was missed.
Testing samples forms a major component of lab technologist jobs. In this role, the technologist receives biological samples from the testing center in sealed containers. Each container is attached to a list of tests requested by the physician. It is the lab technologist’s responsibility to complete the tests, track the results, and provide the data to the physician. Upon completion of the test, the samples are held for 24 to 36 hours and then destroyed.
The use of analytical equipment and technology has made a huge impact on lab technologist jobs. Learning how to use this equipment, calibrating, and validating the results are critical to the quality of the testing results. Many technologists complete part-time courses in the different tools and equipment so that they can utilize all the functions provided.
Writing reports is an important aspect of lab technologist jobs. There are three primary audiences for these reports: testing facility management, public health department, and other technologists. All testing facilities have standard reports required as part of their operational procedures. This may include the number of samples processed, issues with equipment, anomalies, and other quality related concerns.
Reports to the public health department may include multiple samples from a specific area with the same bacteria or disease, food or waterborne bacteria, or unusually high rates of certain fungus or mold particles. The internal documents for other technologists may include procedure changes or recommendations.
People who report the greatest satisfaction in lab technologist jobs enjoy working with technology, problem solving, and working independently. The level of positions available varies by industry and level of education. In general, lab technologists must complete additional training to advance their careers. To become a supervisor, training in staff management is usually recommended. To become a more specialized technologist, look at the continuing education programs available from your local community college.
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