Medical Laboratory Technician (4T0X1)

Air Force Enlisted Job Descriptions - Medical Lab Training

••• Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo credit: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Military Medicine is government run medical care within the military. The services pride themselves on being able to provide the best healthcare to the Airmen and their families. Having accurate medical tests and being able to properly diagnose illnesses accurately occurs between the laboratory and the physician. The physician is only as good at the information coming from the lab. Medical Laboratory specialists are that important and have an integral role in providing active duty military, reservists, veterans, and their family members with a proper diagnosis and treatment. In the military, our service members could be exposed to a variety of weapons and agents whether in a combat situation or on a humanitarian mission where pandemics are killing thousands. The state-of-the-art analysis provided by these experts not only helps prevent and treat disease, but is essential to detecting agents that indicate biological warfare.

The Medical Labratory Technician tests and analyzes specimens of human origin and other substances by established scientific laboratory techniques to aid in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases or to support medical research; and supervises medical laboratory activities. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 311.

Duties and Responsibilities

The job of the Lab Technician in a medical facility is enormous. See below for the long list of duties the average lab tech will see:

  • Performs hematological tests and urinalyses.
  • Accomplishes standardized quantitative and qualitative evaluation of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes.
  • Examines stained blood smears microscopically and refers any abnormal cells to superiors.
  • Performs coagulation studies on human blood and plasma.
  • Performs chemical, macroscopic, and microscopic urine specimen examinations.
  • Performs chemical analysis.
  • Analyses human material or other products submitted to the laboratory, using photometric, calorimetric, titrimetric, radioisotope, or any other chemical or physical procedures applicable to clinical chemistry.
  • Calibrates and maintains all instruments.
  • Makes necessary calculations and reports data to superiors.
  • Reviews all chemistry procedures to ensure current procedures are used.
  • Performs blood bank duties.
  • Draws and processes blood aseptically by standardized techniques.
  • Completely types donors' and recipients' blood; assists in cross matching blood to establish donor-recipient compatibility, reporting any abnormal reactions to immediate supervisor.
  • Prepares blood derivatives.
  • Accomplishes all techniques required for blood transfusion service.
    Performs microbiological and serological tests.
  • Conducts procedures to isolate and identify bacteria by gross and microscopic examination, staining, biochemical and immunological procedures, or any other determination of growth characteristics.
  • Performs sensitivity test on pathogenic bacteria. Assists in identifying viruses and fungi.
  • Applies parasitological techniques to recover and identify parasites.
  • Applies standard serological tests for identifying antibodies specific to diseases.
  • Accomplishes general medical laboratory duties.
  • Conducts bacteriological and chemical examination of food products, water, dairy products, and sewage incidental to preventive and veterinary medicine programs.
  • Takes all necessary precautions to maintains safe conditions in laboratory for both laboratory and hospital personnel.
  • Performs preventative maintenance procedures on laboratory equipment.
  • Performs and evaluates laboratory quality control procedures.
  • Prepares reagents for use in test performance.
  • Plans, organizes, directs, coordinates, and evaluates medical laboratory activity.
  • Composes local medical laboratory regulations.
  • Applies continuous effective internal quality control of all medical laboratory departments.
  • Advises superiors regarding status and adequacy of equipment, supplies, personnel training, and operating efficiency.
  • Coordinates with other activities, agencies, and organizations.
  • Resolves problems about operating medical laboratory activities.
  • Inspects medical laboratory activities.
  • Furnishes deficiency reports and outstanding accomplishments to superiors. Interprets inspection findings and recommends corrective actions.
  • Performs medical laboratory functions.
  • Assists medical officers and allied scientist in research assignments in broad pathology field.
  • Prepares tissue for electron microscopy.
  • Directs toxicology procedures performance incident to aerospace pathology and forensic medicine programs.
  • Assists in epidemiological investigations.
  • Assists biological warfare officer in developing procedures for detecting bacteriological agents incident to biological warfare.

Specialty Qualifications

Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of hematology, urinalyses, clinical chemistry, microbiology, blood banking, immunology, medical terminology, medical ethics applicable to performing medical laboratory procedures, medical laboratory management and medical administrative principles, pathology and histopathology fundamentals, and routine equipment maintenance.

Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school courses in algebra and chemistry is mandatory. Completion of high school courses in biology, zoology, and other basic science is desirable.
Training. For award of AFSC 4T031, completion of the basic medical laboratory course is mandatory.
Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated: (Note: See Explanation of Air Force Specialty Codes).
4T051. Qualification and in possession of AFSC 4T031. Also, experience in performing functions in urinalyses, hematology, bacteriology, serology, and chemistry.
4T071. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 4T051. Also, experience performing or supervising functions such as work normally performed in a routine clinical laboratory (class A dispensary or hospital), specialty performance of tests or technical supervisory experience in clinical chemistry, bacteriology, toxicology, or virology at class A, class B, or analogous laboratory; or combination of foregoing types of experience.
Other. For entry into this specialty, normal color vision as defined in AFI 48-123Medical Examination and Standards, is mandatory.

Deployment Rate for this AFSC

Strength Req: G

Physical Profile333333

Citizenship No

Required Appitude Score : G-58(Changed to G-62, effective 1 October 2004).

Technical Training:

Course #: J3AQR4T031 000

Length (Days): 84

Location: S

Course #: J5BO4T031 000

Length (Days): 180

Location: Var