21 May The Front-Liners Behind the Scene
“Excuse me, may I know if my red blood-cell level is normal?” “Do I have diabetes mellitus?” Patients often ask their doctors some of these questions and the doctors will have a list of medical parameters to explain the patients’ conditions. However, not many people know that all these diagnoses are done by a group of silent front-liners called medical laboratory technologists.
Medical laboratory technologists perform complex tests and procedures that help other healthcare professionals to detect, diagnose, confirm and treat diseases in the pathology department of a hospital. There are a total of seven areas covered, namely cytology, haematology, immunohematology and blood banks, clinical biochemistry, medical microbiology, and histopathology. They often collect samples of body fluids, tissues, and other substances, based on the needs of the test from patients, analyse them and discuss their findings with the doctors.
Medical laboratory technologists spend a lot of time on their feet. They are also required to wear masks, gloves, goggles and other personal protective equipment while they work. They must also abide by the procedures that help mitigate their risk of coming into contact with infectious specimens.
The duty of a medical laboratory technologist is to solve puzzles. All the necessary tests have to be performed to support the outcomes of every diagnosis. The keys to performing this job well are the ability to Focus and Organisational and Critical Thinking skills.