Laboratory technicians, as their name says, are professionals trained to perform fundamental tests in various sciences depending on their chosen expertise. They provide ways to improve the world of modern science and medicine by conducting the needed experiments to produce scientific explanations. They are important key persons in any scientific team.
Because there are numerous settings that require laboratory works, lab techs are on demand by a lot of establishments, mainly those that deal with life sciences. They can be employed in hospitals, clinics, blood banks, research facilities, culturing facilities, etc. They working condition will vary depending on the size, type, and the scope of their job in their employed setting.
In the healthcare setting, lab techs have the crucial role of detecting, diagnosing, and treatment of disease by examining and analyzing body fluids, cells, organs, and other kinds of samples. They search for the presence of microorganisms that indicate and infection and determine the extent of the damages done. They examine body fluids and see their chemical content to know if there are any rise and fall of normal values. They detect for AIDS and other blood-borne diseases that might be positive in blood components for transfusions, as well as test drug levels in the blood.
Most of the time laboratory technicians will be familiarized with the use of microscopes, cell counters and some other laboratory equipment. In some facilities, they have the opportunity to use automated laboratory machines that make the lab work more efficient and quicker, as it greatly reduces the chance for human errors. If there are any malfunctioning devices, they have to communicate with their superiors to get the fix done. When experiment results are at hand, it is part of their job to relay the information accordingly.
Due to the improvements in technology, most facilities now handle automated machines and using computers to do most of the work. Technicians now have less hands-on activities and perform their job more analytically. The difficulty of the tests they do, the level of judgment needed, and the responsibility they shoulder depend greatly on their education al background and years of experience in the field. For some procedures and perhaps to achieve higher positions in the industry, laboratory technicians need to become laboratory technologists. Lab technologists are more advanced in terms of the education they have earned and are allowed to perform more complex tests.
Part of the laboratory technician jobs is to maintain all these lab equipment and ensure that they are functioning properly. They have to abide with safety guidelines to prevent any mishaps like breaking the sterile fields and the spread of microorganisms, as well as chemical accidents. They have to wear proper safety gears such as masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns because usually they deal with infectious organisms and samples.