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Lab Tech

As a student prepping for NCLEX, you will want to know about the normal lab values of a CBC (blood count), BMP/CMP (metabolic panel), lipid panel, coagulation levels, arterial blood gases, and drug levels.

Acetaminophen Level
ADHD Screening
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)
Albumin Blood Test
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test
Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Test
ALT Blood Test
Ammonia Levels
ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) Test
Anoscopy
AST Test
Bacteria Culture Test
BCR ABL Genetic Test
Bilirubin Blood Test
Blood Glucose Test
Blood Oxygen Level
BRAF Genetic Test
Breast Biopsy
CA-125 Blood Test (Ovarian Cancer)
CA 19-9 Blood Test (Pancreatic Cancer)
Calcium Blood Test
CCP Antibody Test
CD4 Lymphocyte Count
Celiac Disease Screening
Cholesterol Levels
Coagulation Factor Tests
Coronavirus Testing
Cortisol Test
C-Peptide Test
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test
DHEA Sulfate Test
Doppler Ultrasound
Down Syndrome Tests
Electrocardiogram
Epithelial Cells in Urine
Fluoroscopy
Gram Stain
Haptoglobin (HP) Test
Hemoglobin Test
Hepatitis Panel
HER2 (Breast Cancer) Testing
Herpes (HSV) Test
HIV Screening Test
HIV Viral Load
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
Immunoglobulins Blood Test
Lactic Acid Test
Laparoscopy
Lipoprotein (a) Blood Test
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Levels Test
Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test
MPV Blood Test
MRSA Tests
Pap Smear
Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test
Pharmacogenetic Tests
Phenylketonuria (PKU) Screening
Pleural Fluid Analysis
Potassium Blood Test
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
PTEN Genetic Test
Reticulocyte Count
Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test
Salicylates Level
SHBG Blood Test
Skin Biopsy
Ultrasound
Strep A Test
Strep B Test
Synovial Fluid Analysis
Thyroglobulin
Thyroid Antibodies
Thyroxine (T4) Test
Triglycerides Test
Troponin Test
Uric Acid Test
White Blood Count (WBC)
Zika Virus Test
C-Peptide Test
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test
DHEA Sulfate Test
Doppler Ultrasound
Down Syndrome Tests
Electrocardiogram
Epithelial Cells in Urine
Fluoroscopy
Gram Stain
Haptoglobin (HP) Test
Hemoglobin Test
Hepatitis Panel
HER2 (Breast Cancer) Testing
Herpes (HSV) Test
HIV Screening Test
HIV Viral Load
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
Immunoglobulins Blood Test
Lactic Acid Test
Laparoscopy
Lipoprotein (a) Blood Test
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Levels Test
Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test
MPV Blood Test
MRSA Tests
Pap Smear
Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test
Pharmacogenetic Tests
Phenylketonuria (PKU) Screening
Pleural Fluid Analysis
Potassium Blood Test
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
PTEN Genetic Test
Reticulocyte Count
Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test
Salicylates Level
SHBG Blood Test
Skin Biopsy
Ultrasound
Strep A Test
Strep B Test
Synovial Fluid Analysis
Thyroglobulin
Thyroid Antibodies
Thyroxine (T4) Test
Triglycerides Test
Troponin Test
Uric Acid Test
White Blood Count (WBC)
Zika Virus Test

LAB TECH DUTIES

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings.
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types.
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters.
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time.
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient's medical record.
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians.
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians.
  • Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids.
  • Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells under a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth.
  • Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies.
  • Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms.

  • Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

EDUCATION

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor's degree. Lab technicians, on the other hand, only need an associate's degree or a postsecondary certificate. A bachelor's degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in biochemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics.

Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management, while clinical instruction includes hands-on training in a hospital. After gaining work experience, or subject-specific certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some colleges have bachelor's degree programs for medical laboratory technicians to become technologists (often referred to as MLT to MLS programs).

CERTIFICATION

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians. The aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures. Prenatal testing for various types of genetic conditions also is increasingly common. Medical laboratory technologists will be in demand to use and maintain the equipment needed for diagnosis and treatment.

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and American Medical Technologists.

QUALITIES FOR SUCCESS

Ask yourself if you can see yourself being a lab technician, having daily contact with patients who may be elderly, ill, or recovering from surgery. Other patients may have physical or emotional disabilities, which can be challenging. While classes and internships will prepare you well, certain innate qualities that you bring to bear will help you succeed.

Qualities of a Lab Tech
Medical laboratory technicians must understand how to operate computerized lab equipment.
Medical laboratory technologists must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.
Medical lab techs and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precision laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.
Medical laboratory technologists may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Fluid and Electrolytes


-Fluid and electrolyte normal values range balance
-Signs and symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalances
-Causes of fluid and electrolyte imbalances
-Fluid and electrolytes mnemonics (memorization tricks)
-Includes all 6 fluid and electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, sodium, and chloride)

Blood Groups (ABO), Rh Factor


There are 8 total blood types from four blood groups (A, B, AB, O). In nursing we transfuse blood, but before we do this we have to collect blood from the patient who will be receiving the blood transfusion. The patient's blood will be typed and crossmatched with a donor. The donor’s blood must be compatible with our patient to prevent a transfusion reaction.

NCLEX Diabetes, Insulin


NCLEX questions will test your knowledge about Insulin Lispro (Humalog) and wants to know when the patient is at most risk for hypoglycemia based on the time that he or she was administered medication.

Metabolic Panel


Metabolic panel blood test explained for nurses! This review will discuss the basic metabolic panel (BMP) and comprehensive metabolic panel (CMPT) normal ranges, causes of abnormal results, and your role as a nurse. A metabolic panel blood test assesses: electrolytes, renal function, and liver function. Note: The BMP and CMP both assess the electrolytes and renal function, BUT the CMP also checks the liver function.

JOB OUTLOOK

Most medical laboratory technologists and technicians work full time. Technologists and technicians who work in facilities that are always open, such as hospitals and some independent laboratories, may work evening, weekend, or overnight hours. Employment of medical lab techs is projected to grow 14 percent from 2017 to 2026, faster than the average for all healthcare occupations.

Medical laboratory personnel are trained to work with infectious specimens or with materials that are caustic or produce fumes. When they follow proper methods to control infection and sterilize equipment, the risk decreases. They wear protective masks, gloves, and goggles for their safety. In fact, medical and clinical laboratory technicians have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. They may be subject to repetitive motion injuries since they can perform the same tasks repeatedly. Moreover, technologists and technicians can be on their feet for long periods, and they may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples.


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