Being a medical laboratory technician is a crazy but very rewarding job. The difference between what the average person thinks of when they think of a lab technician is actually quite huge! So you’re probably asking yourself, what is it like working in a lab, and what is really involved in the work that is done?
For starters, the majority of people don’t realize that there is more to actually working in a lab than first meets the eye. For instance, do you remember watching the ever so popular HOW TO PAUSE program on Discovery Channel? That’s actually just a small fraction of what is involved in working in a clinical research laboratory.
So before you decide to give up you’re well-paying, secure job in a safety suit, you should realize that the types of jobs that you do and the amount of responsibility involved is more than you may realize. Even if you only work on a technician/research lab, you are still handling all of the equipment, animals, and human technicians!
Many people overlook the fact that animals and humans aren’t the same. For instance, whereas a pharmaceutical research laboratory is looking for ways to develop drugs for the good of humans, an animal research laboratory is looking for new ways to develop animals for the good of animals. Unfortunately, in order to conduct animal experiments, you must first get them to eat!
Other tasks you will be responsible for include changing animal water and cleaning up dissected remains, convered in a plastic bag to keep the animal Groomed (i.e. Tiger or bear). cleaning cages out, placing animals in holding pools to draw blood or to pools of water to simulate pools used for exercise or swimming. distributing food and medicine among animals. cleaning cages and habitats to make them look “upright.” distributing medicine among animals and distressed individuals.
As you can see, a veterinary technician provides a very important service to both humans and animals. If you are so emotionally invested in the animals in research laboratories, hopefully you have a strong moral stance. If you are not emotionally invested, then perhaps you should give veterinary technician a chance! I will say it again. If you are emotionally invested in the animals and providing them with a quality of life, you have got to think seriously about stepping into this career field. I will bet that you will feel the difference when you actually step into the shoes of an animal surgeon and perform a daily surgical procedure.
It is unfortunate that we have to sacrifice animals for the sake of research, but the fact of life is that for every animal that is placed in research for a new drug,overshooting program, ergonomic chair or new water maze, there are probably many animals that will never walk away from your radiation treatment or surgical skills. Of course, the “john do good” ending is not always the truth.
After reading this far, it is safe to say that you are probably physically, emotionally, and psychologically invested in the animals’ well-being. If you are passionate about animals and have a calling to help them, it is time for you to investigate a career as a veterinary technician.