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Medical Laboratory Scientist

Run tests in a medical laboratory to diagnose and fight disease.

What does a Medical Laboratory Scientist do?

Thank goodness for modern advances. Doctors are now able to diagnose previously fatal illnesses, and effectively treat them with medicine. It takes a series of steps to diagnose these ailments, and you are a key player in that process. When a patient consults with their Doctor, blood, urine, spinal fluid, and other samples are drawn and sent to you, the Medical Laboratory Scientist.

As the Medical Laboratory Scientist, you then run tests on those bodily fluids to identify bacteria, viruses, drugs, parasites, or fungi. For example, you determine the insulin and sugar levels in the blood, which helps the Doctor treat diabetes. In addition, you confirm pregnancies and venereal diseases, identify cancer, diabetes, and meningitis, and recognize thyroid problems and liver abnormalities. The bottom line is, without the lab work completely by you, the Medical Laboratory Scientist, Doctors would have very little evidence on which to base a diagnosis.

You might have your own private practice, or work in a hospital or a medical center that specializes in a certain procedure. For example, you might evaluate the quality of sperm for a reproduction lab, or screen blood at a blood bank.

Wherever you work, though, you spend your day running chemical tests, scrutinizing samples under the microscope, and carefully recording your findings. Precision is key in this job because an inaccurate test result could derail the patient’s care plan, or subject them to unnecessary treatments.