Clinical Technicians play a key role in the process of diagnosing and treating various diseases of human beings. They collect and analyze bodily fluids and cells to search for bacteria, parasites and other harmful organisms that can cause infection or other health problems. Their other duties include cleaning laboratory equipments, performing urinalysis and maintaining accurate records of findings by using computer database software.
These skilled professionals may specialize as phlebotomists or histotechnicians in larger health care settings. However, they work under the direct supervision of clinical laboratory technologists.
Clinical Technicians work at variety of environments such as diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmaceutical industries, forensic laboratories, research facilities, educational institutions etc. They may have to work during nights, weekends and holidays. They may also need to be on call, in case of emergency.
To become a Clinical Technician, the aspiring candidates need to earn an associate’s degree program in medical laboratory sciences from an accredited institution, which usually takes two years to complete. The job aspirants can also complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in medical technology or related health discipline for better job prospects in this field.
The common syllabus includes anatomy, immunology, hematology, psychology, phlebotomy, microbiology, chemistry, clinical laboratory practices etc.
Certification and Licensure
Since most of the states in the USA require Clinical Technicians to be licensed, the aspiring candidates have to earn a license by passing the required examination. American Medical Technologists and the Board of Registry for the American Society for Clinical Pathology offer exam-based certification to these professionals.
Besides the clinical knowledge, Clinical Technicians possess varieties of traits such as strong attention to detail, high level of competency in dexterity, empathy towards patient, understanding of medical terminology, medical ethics, ability to monitor modern machineries, a great deal of physical stamina to work for long duration, effective communication and interpersonal skills, computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Clinical Technician remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 22% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Clinical Technician was $37,240 in 2012.