Medical laboratory technicians, also known as medical laboratory assistants, provide support to scientific staff in medical laboratories. The role of the medical lab assistant is wide ranging and encompasses a variety of scientific support tasks. Medical laboratory assistants are employed by a range of public and private sector organisations. Learn more about where to find medical laboratory tech jobs in the UK.
What does a lab technician do?
The tasks of a medical laboratory technician may include the handling of tissue samples, the disposal of waste disposal, the preparation of samples, the cleaning of delicate glassware, the maintenance of machinery and the supervision of chemicals deliveries.
Following the regulations
All medical laboratory technicians must work to strict health and safety regulations and ensure that no one is put at risk, while in attendance in the workplace.
Medical laboratory assistants must possess a good standard of education. Science qualifications are desirable for a job of this kind. The majority of medical laboratory assistants possess a background in life sciences or chemical sciences. Experience Most medical laboratory assistants possess prior experience of working in a laboratory, through unpaid or paid work experience. Experience in a laboratory is essential for those required to use scientific equipment in their day-to-day roles. Skills required All medical laboratory staff are required to possess good organisational skills and be able to demonstrate an understanding of patient confidentiality.
Medical lab technicians must be able to work as part of a scientific team. Medical laboratory technicians liaise with biomedical scientists, other medical staff and clerical staff on a daily basis.
Where does a lab technician find employment?
Organisations with medical laboratories
Organisations with medical laboratories are likely to employ medical laboratory technicians. These include private sector and NHS hospitals, and specific government departments or government-funded research institutions.
Pioneering research and laboratory work undertaken in the pharmaceutical sector requires the help of medical laboratory assistants. Large pharmaceutical companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca therefore, employ medical laboratory assistants.
Large city hospitals Large city hospitals employ medical laboratory technicians to assist in defined research in addition to standard medical testing. Government departments, such as the Department of Health, employ medical laboratory technicians, as do other government organizations with laboratories (such as, public health organisations). Research parks Research parks located across the UK, which are home to privatised or semi-privatised laboratories, employ a range of medical laboratory technicians, often on a contractual basis.
Education sector Vacancies for medical laboratory technicians may also arise in the education sector, most notably in universities and educational research centres, where laboratory technicians are required to work as part of externally-funded research projects.