Pursuing a career in healthcare can be extremely rewarding. Knowing that you are making a difference every day can leave one feeling fulfilled. Not all healthcare professionals work in hospitals or doctors’ offices though. One such example is a Medical Lab Assistant. Not sure what a Medical Lab Assistant is or what they do? Check out our blog “What does a Medical Lab Assistant do?” for some more helpful info on this occupation.
Medical Lab Assistants are often found working in lab settings. These labs may be within a hospital, or other healthcare facility. If your healthcare provider sends you for tests or lab work, a Medical Lab Assistant could be the person who takes your blood or specimen samples. They also work within the lab preparing samples for testing, run tests, and help with the overall function and operation of the lab (maintaining equipment, keeping things clean/sterilized, etc.).
In today’s blog, we’re talking about how to become a Medical Lab Assistant, step-by-step. Keep in mind, while there is no one specific path in all cases, the process below is one that many may follow was they pursue their new career as a Medical Lab Assistant.
1. Enroll in a Medical Lab Assistant Program
The first step in how to become a Medical Lab Assistant is to get the proper training. Many will choose to enroll in a Medical Lab Assistant program in order to obtain this training. When choosing a Medical Lab Assistant program, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This is because the level of education offered between programs may vary.
First, make sure you select a program that will provide you with hands-on training and the ability to obtain some clinical experience. Since a Medical Lab Assistant’s job is very hands-on, this approach can be beneficial. Many aspiring Medical Lab Assistants won’t have prior work experience in a lab setting, so it will be important to get training that is as realistic and as hands-on as possible so you know what to expect once you’re on the job.
Secondly, you will also want to choose a school that prepares students for success. A few things to keep in mind here. Does the school or program prepare students to challenge a certification exam? Do they offer career services assistance to graduates? Does the school have a strong reputation and established relationships with local employers? Each of these things can help aid a student’s transition from the classroom to their new career, so it’s important to have as much support as possible not only when you’re in the classroom, but once you have finished your training and are getting ready to start your career as well.
2. Obtain Clinical Experience
The second step in how to become a Medical Lab Assistant is to obtain some clinical experience. As we noted above, Medical Lab Assistants work closely with patients, and the work they do involves a fair amount of precision. As a result, having clinical experience can be a real advantage as you pursue your new career. Some training programs may include clinical experience as part of their curriculum. Make sure you ask about this as you are researching programs. It can be a huge advantage because it’s one less thing you have to worry about yourself.
If your school does not include clinical experience in your training, you can try to obtain this on your own. Network with others in the field to see if they have suggestions on how you can gain professional exposure and experience in the field, even if it’s just shadowing. Having this exposure and experience can be helpful for a variety of reasons. First, it can allow you to know what to expect once you’re in the field yourself. Secondly, it gives you an opportunity to network with others already in the field and put your best foot forward. Even if you’re ‘just shadowing’ don’t miss an opportunity to put your best foot forward! You could be interacting with a potential employer.
3. Challenge Applicable Certification Exams
The third step in our step-by-step guide on how to become a Medical Lab Assistant is to challenge applicable certification exams (or exam). While obtaining certification may not be required in every instance for a Medical Lab Assistant, it certainly can have benefits. Possessing certification can show a prospective employer that you have invested the time and energy into your training and education, and you have displayed the knowledge and skills necessary to attain certification.
As we noted above, when you are researching options for school and training, check and see what your options are when it comes to certification exams. Choosing a school or a training program is not just about what happens in the classroom, it’s about helping set you up for success for your new career. It’s about providing you with opportunities to shine and assist you in launching your new career. Pursuing (and attaining) certification can help you do just that.
Medical Laboratory Assistant training program | Dorsey College
The Medical Laboratory Assistant diploma program at Dorsey College is designed to introduce students to the specialized skills needed to pursue entry-level employment in this area of healthcare. During their training at Dorsey College, students in the Medical Laboratory Assistant program can develop a variety of skills. These skills include performing phlebotomy, processing laboratory tests, and operating lab equipment. The Dorsey College program strives to provide students with the clinical and professional skills they need to work as an efficient and confident Medical Laboratory Assistant.
Clinical training is also incorporated into the Medical Laboratory Assistant program. This component of a student’s training is designed to expose them to real-life situations where they can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom. This program is designed to prepare students to challenge a national certification exam, and those who successfully complete the program are encouraged to do so. While Dorsey College encourages all graduates to challenge applicable certification exams, Dorsey College makes no promise or guarantee of an individual’s outcome on an exam or their ability to attain certification or recognition by a professional registry.
Are you ready to begin your Medical Lab Assistant training? If so, contact Dorsey College today to learn more about the Medical Laboratory Assistant program!