MLT, or Medical Lab Technology, as a career option has been around for a few years in the health sector, but it shot into prominence during the Covid pandemic. With Medical Lab Technicians conducting round-the-clock lab tests for the Coronavirus, they served as the backbone of the nation’s war against the lethal epidemic. In other words, if you are keen to enter the health sector but do not want to work as a frontline health worker, like doctors and nurses, doing an MLT Certification to become a certified lab technician can be a good career option for you. But before you proceed ahead, let us first understand MLT in detail.
Definition of MLT
MLT is the branch of medical science that deals with lab investigation to provide inputs for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. Technicians run tests on samples of body fluids, tissues, and blood to conduct the investigation.
What do Medical Lab Technicians do?
To understand the crucial role played by lab technicians in the health sector, let us examine the roles and responsibilities of lab technicians. They perform a wide range of tests including
- Microbiology tests to identify bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites etc. and determine antibiotic sensitivity
- Chemistry tests to measure the chemical content of body fluids, plasms, and cells
- Blood banking tests to match blood types for transfusion
- Immunology tests to determine a person’s ability to fight infections, diagnose autoimmune diseases, detect allergies etc.
- Haematology tests to detect blood diseases and spot bleeding disorders
Apart from conducting the above tests to diagnose diseases, the technicians also run some medical procedures. These include:
- Histology procedures to prepare samples for examination by pathologists
- Cytology procedures to detect the presence of cancerous cells
- Cytogenetic procedures to spot abnormalities in the chromosomal count and detect genetic diseases
One important to note here is that with advancements in technology in the healthcare sector, the process of conducting many of these lab tests is now automated. Lab technicians, therefore, are now required to devote more time and energy to analysing lab results, improving procedures, as well as defining, implementing, and fine-tuning quality controls.
Understanding the work of a lab technician, I believe, will help you realise that you need to be fully trained in medical terminologies and medical procedures to succeed in this career. This explains the vital role of training institutes in providing Medical Lab Technician courses. So, let us now do a deep dive into the MLT course, understanding all its aspects one by one.
Eligibility Criteria for Medical Lab Technician Course
You can opt for the Medical Lab Technician Course if you:
- Have PCB or PCM as core subjects in Class 12th
- Score at least 50% marks in the Class 12th exam from a recognized Board
- Clear the MLT entrance exams
Medical Lab Technician Course Entrance Exam Details:
There is no national-level entrance test to secure admission to the MLT course. However, some institutions conduct their own entrance exams. Some such entrance exams are AIIMS Paramedical, JIPMER Paramedical, PGIMER Paramedical, BCECE Paramedical etc.
Note that the MLT course is available at Diploma, Bachelor, and Master’s levels. While the Diploma course requires you to pass the Pre-University exam in the Science stream, for the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees you must clear the exam with at least a 50% score.
Now that you are clear about the prerequisites for gaining admission to the MLT course, let me familiarise you with the topics covered as part of the DMLT and MLT syllabi. This will give you a better idea of how the semesters are carefully designed so that you progressively gain a grasp on the subjects.
Diploma Medical Lab Technician (DMLT) Certification Course Details:
The duration of the DMLT course is 2 years, divided into 4 semesters, 2 semesters each year. At the end of 2 years, post completion of the course, you earn a Diploma in MLT certification. The entrance to this course depends on your academic performance in Class 12th or your admission exam score, depending on the institute where you seek admission.
The course fee of the DMLT course varies across institutes, but across the industry, it is found that the average fee ranges between INR 20,000 – INR 1,00,000.
As part of the DMLT course, you will gain in-depth knowledge on subjects such as Biochemistry, Pathology, Blood Bank, and Microbiology. You will also be exposed to the usage of tools such as CT Scan machines, X-ray machines, MRI machines etc. In a nutshell, this course is designed to train you as a lab professional.
Here’s the subject-wise syllabus for the 4 semesters spread across 2 years:
|Semester I||Semester II|
|Human Anatomy||Human Pathology|
|Fundamentals of MLT||Basic pathology|
|Basic Human Science||Fundamental Biochemistry|
|Basics of Clinical Biochemistry||Microbial Instrumentation|
|English Communication||Information and Communication Technology|
|Professional Activities||Community Development|
|Semester III||Semester IV|
|Human Physiology||Histopathological Techniques|
|Metabolic and Technical Biochemistry||Clinical Biochemistry|
|Clinical Hematology||Clinical Microbiology|
|Technical Microbiology||Clinical Pathology|
|Community Development Activities – Part II||Pathology Lab|
It is important to note that the subjects of the DMLT syllabus are divided into core and optional categories to allow flexibility to the students. Also, the semesters are designed such that each subject has a fine blend of theory and practical topics to help you gain experiential learning as you proceed through the modules. Finally, at the end of the fourth semester, you have the opportunity to work on a research project to familiarize yourself with the real world.
The probable places where you can find jobs on successful completion of the DMLT course include Government and private hospitals, Path labs, medical colleges and universities as well as institutes offering medical writing services etc.
BSc Medical Lab Technician Certification Course Details:
BSc MLT or Bachelor of Science in Medical Lab Technology is an undergraduate course of 3 years divided into 6 semesters, 2 semesters each year.
You become eligible to join this course if you score at least 50% in your Class 12th examination in the Science stream from any recognized Board. The admission can be based on your academic performance or your marks in the entrance exam. As in the case of the DMLT course, the admission criteria depend on the institute.
The tuition fee for the BSc MLT course again varies with the institute, but on average the annual course fee ranges between INR 10K – INR 4 lacs per.
As evident from the design of the modules across the semesters, the theoretical topics have been masterfully blended with the practical topics so that you continue to gain real-time experience as you progress through the course.
|Semester I Syllabus: Human Anatomy – Part I||Semester II Syllabus: Human Anatomy – Part II|
|Human Physiology – Part I||Bio-Medical Waste Management|
|Health education and Health Communication||Biochemistry – Part II|
|PC Software Lab||Practical Biochemistry – Part I|
|Human Anatomy Lab – Part I||Human Physiology – Part II|
|Human Physiology Lab – Part I||Practical Human Physiology – Part II|
|Biochemistry – Part I||Human Anatomy – Part II|
|Biochemistry Lab – Part I||Communication Lab|
|Semester III Syllabus: Pathology – Part I||Semester IV Syllabus: Pathology – Part II|
|Clinical Haematology – Part I||Clinical Haematology – Part II|
|Clinical Haematology Lab – Part I||Clinical Haematology Lab – Part II|
|Histopathology & Histotechniques – Part I||Microbiology – Part II|
|Histopathology & Histotechniques Lab– Part I||Immunology & Serology – Part II|
|Microbiology – Part I||Microbiology, Immunology & Serology Lab – Part II|
|Immunology & Serology – Part I||Histopathology & Histotechniques – Part II|
|Microbiology, Immunology & Serology Lab – Part I||Histopathology & Histotechniques Lab – Part II|
|Semester V Syllabus: Immunohematology & Blood Banking||Semester VI Syllabus: Clinical Endocrinology|
|Principles of Lab Management & Medical Ethics||Advanced Diagnostic Techniques|
|Clinical Enzymology & Automation||Advanced Diagnostic Techniques Lab|
|Clinical Enzymology Lab||Diagnostic Molecular Biology|
|Parasitology & Virology||Diagnostic Molecular Biology Lab|
|Parasitology & Virology Lab||Clinical Endocrinology|
|Diagnostic Cytology Lab|
Finally, at the end of the sixth semester of the course, you will undergo an Internship assignment to gain hands-on experience on the various subjects as well as on the usage of the tools. At the end of the Internship period, you earn the MLT certification.
Now that you have a fair idea of the MLT certification course, how you can gain admission and the coverage of the topics across the modules, it would be interesting to find the salary you will earn after you enter the industry.
Salary of Medical Lab Technicians
On completion of the BSc Medical Lab Technician certification course, you will earn a package of INR 2 – 6L per annum at the entry-level. In case you opt for the Diploma course for Medical Lab Technician certification, you will earn an average salary of INR 1.8L per year. Note that these figures are estimated based on the salary data collected from a wide section of Medical Lab Technicians in India.
With that, we have presented a snapshot of the Medical Lab Technician Certification course. I believe you can now appreciate that to contribute towards the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, you must master the necessary knowledge and skills.
So, the MLT certification course training is an absolute must, and you must join one at the earliest to groom yourself as a successful Medical lab technician. Only then can you do justice to your role as an indispensable part of the healthcare industry as the power behind the frontline health workers waging an endless battle against illness and disease.
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