Who We Are
As an integral part of the health care system, medical laboratory professionals are dedicated to providing vital and accurate information that contributes to effective patient care.
Medical laboratory professionals are a group of four professions that collect, test, analyze and interpret results on samples of tissue or fluid. They work in hospitals, private laboratories, universities, research facilities and public health laboratories.
Doctors rely on the lab testing done by medical laboratory professionals to help them determine the best course of action for their patient's health. Results that are generated in the lab support up to 85% of all medical decisions related to diagnosis and treatment.
Medical Laboratory Technologists
Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) play a vital role on the health care professional team. Using a variety of complex instruments, they analyze tissue samples, blood and other body fluids. MLTs provide the results of these sophisticated tests to physicians, allowing them to make accurate diagnoses and if needed, initiate appropriate treatment.
Medical laboratory technologists can specialize in a variety of disciplines, including:
Conduct tests on blood and body fluids to detect chemicals, hormones and/or drugs.
Common Test: Blood Glucose (blood sugar) to diagnose and monitor diabetes.
Conduct tests on blood, body fluids and/or tissue samples to detect bacteria, fungi, viruses and/or parasites.
Common Test: Throat swab to detect strep throat.
Conduct tests to measure blood cells and to detect diseases/disorders of the blood.
Common Test: Hemoglobin Test to detect anemia.
Conduct blood typing and blood compatibility tests.
Common Test: Cross-matching for blood transfusions.
Prepare samples of body tissue for tests to detect disease.
Common Test: Biopsy of a breast lump.
Diagnostic Cytotechnologists are health professionals that analyze cellular changes in order to determine the presence of specific diseases. Mostly through the use of slides under a microscope, cytotechnologists are able to detect precancerous cells, different cancers and other cellular based infections. An abnormal finding would be sent to a pathologist for a final diagnosis.
Clinical Genetics Technologist
Clinical Genetics Technologists use a variety of instruments to examine and interpret abnormalities in chromosomes and DNA, which are unique to every individual. A genetics technologist's analysis of these cells can lead to a diagnosis of genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. With these results a physician can accurately diagnose, treat and monitor a patient, as well as plan for future medical needs.
Medical Laboratory Assistants
Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs) work under the supervision of a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT), performing the practical components of sample analysis. MLAs sort, prepare and sometimes process samples that will be tested and analyzed by a MLT. MLAs collect samples, such as blood, and will often be the laboratory professional that interacts directly with patients.