Medical Laboratory Technology Assisting
Medical laboratory technology assistants/aides are part of the healthcare team that may also include licensed clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians and certified histological technicians who work in licensed clinical laboratories and practice clinical laboratory technology.
Medical laboratory technology assistants/aides perform clinical laboratory tasks that do not require independent judgement or performance of pre-analytic steps. They may be trained as phlebotomists to collect blood specimens for analysis by licensed technicians. While they assist in lab tasks, medical laboratory technology assistants/aides may not run quality control or patient samples.
It’s important to note the distinction between medical laboratory technology assistants/aides and certified/licensed clinical laboratory technology professionals:
- Medical laboratory technology assistants/aides are unlicensed personnel who may perform professionally supervised work in a variety of settings in state-licensed laboratories.
- Clinical laboratory technology professionals in New York State include clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians and certified histological technicians. They perform tests and procedures on all bodily fluids and tissue that are critical to the diagnostic process in determining health and disease. Only individuals who have met all the requirements for certification and have been issued a license to practice, may use an individual license title that falls under the clinical laboratory technology professions.
A CTE education program for medical laboratory technology assisting introduces the student to the laboratory environment, but it would not prepare them for licensure as a certified clinical laboratory technology professional.
Medical Laboratory Technology Assisting Programs of Study
Medical laboratory technology assisting programs of study deliver a curriculum which provides students with knowledge and skills related to the field of laboratory technology.
Students in a medical laboratory technology assisting program may acquire the knowledge and technical skills that will prepare them for positions as entry-level laboratory assistants/aides and phlebotomists. Students completing this program of study will be prepared for post-secondary education in clinical laboratory technology.
Program components may include laboratory administrative responsibilities, data recording, medical terminology, patient communication, infection control and isolation techniques, preparation of specimens for testing, demonstration of appropriate laboratory techniques, equipment operation and maintenance, and writing reports/presenting information. The didactic learning combined with supervised clinical experience (see below) comprises a program of study.
The skills acquired through phlebotomy training would be advantageous to those students who wish to further their post-secondary education as licensed clinical laboratory professionals. Phlebotomists are not certified or licensed in New York State, therefore individuals in training for phlebotomy would not be subject to ‘working within the scope’ of a licensed profession.
Programs should consider technical assessment and certification opportunities available through American Medical Technologies (AMT): Medical Lab Assistant and National Healthcareer Association (NHA): Phlebotomy or National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT): Phlebotomy Technician.
For resources and certification options pertaining to Phlebotomy please visit PhlebotomyTraining.org(link is external).
Health sciences education prepares secondary and adult students for employment in the health care industry and for postsecondary education. The three integral components of all health sciences programs of study are a health science education core curriculum, content specific curriculum, and supervised clinical experience.
Health Sciences Core Curriculum
A health sciences education core curriculum serves as the foundation to prepare students for individual health sciences careers and must include Health Science Learning Standards.
The National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) Health Science Standards are acceptable learning standards on which to develop the Health Sciences Core as part of a Health Sciences program of study.
Supervised Clinical Experience
- Affiliation agreement(s) must be established (a written contract with partnering healthcare facilities).
- Students may enter a clinical setting only after receiving prior program instruction, demonstrating related skill and knowledge, all under supervision by the school’s program instructor.
- 108 hours (1 unit) of clinical experience must be conducted in a work setting as defined by the program of study.
- Scopes of practice under various state licensures must be considered when developing hands on activities in implementation of health sciences programs.