Medical Laboratory Technician Kaihangarau Taiwhanga Rongoā
Medical laboratory technicians take medical samples and run tests under the supervision of scientists and pathologists.
Medical laboratory technicians need to be registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.
- Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand website - information on registration as a medical laboratory technician
Medical laboratory technicians may do some or all of the following:
- take blood and other samples such as fingernail scrapings
- label samples
- reassure and care for patients they are taking samples from
- prepare slides of blood and other body fluids, and perform tests on these samples
- match blood for transfusions
- test for bacteria that can cause disease in patients
- perform antibiotic sensitivity and allergy testing.
Useful experience for medical laboratory technicians includes:
- laboratory work
- work in the health sector
- work with computers and information systems.
Medical laboratory technicians need to be:
- accurate, with an eye for detail
- able to work alone or in a team
- good at record-keeping
- sensitive when dealing with patients.
Medical laboratory technicians should not be squeamish, as their work involves body samples.
Medical laboratory technicians need to have:
- practical skills for performing experiments and operating scientific equipment
- thorough understanding of laboratory safety
- basic understanding of biological science
- the ability to follow scientific procedures.
Medical laboratory technicians:
- usually work regular business hours, but may also do shift work or work weekends
- work in community, hospital, commercial or veterinary diagnostic laboratories
- may travel locally to take samples at doctors' surgeries, hospitals, rest homes, patients' homes and workplaces.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a medical laboratory technician. However, biology, chemistry, health education, physics and maths are useful.
Experienced medical laboratory technicians may progress into managerial positions.
With further training, they may become medical laboratory scientists.
Medical laboratory technicians may specialise in a number of roles, including:
- Donor Technician
- Donor technicians collect blood and plasma from blood donors.
- Phlebotomy Technician
- Phlebotomy technicians collect blood and samples from patients for laboratory testing or for blood banks.
- Specimen Services Technician
- Specimen services technicians take blood, urine and tissue from patients to test in a laboratory. They also perform tests and procedures on patients.
Years Of Training2 years of training required.
Two ways to become a medical laboratory technician
To become a medical laboratory technician you need to:
- work as a trainee medical laboratory technician in an approved laboratory for two years
- gain the Qualified Medical Laboratory Technician (QMLT) Certificate.
Alternatively, you can:
- gain a Bachelor of Science with a relevant major in biological science
- work as a trainee medical laboratory technician in an approved laboratory for one year.
You also need to hold a full driver's licence and be registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.