Videos: Today's Military

Medical Laboratory Specialist


Medical laboratory specialists play a crucial role as part of the army medical team by collecting, processing and testing tissue blood and the body fluids of patients.

This career field requires individuals who have met minimal education requirements in the areas of biology, chemistry and algebra.

You must have manual dexterity and no aversion to the sight of blood or needles and an ability to precisely follow detailed procedures

Laboratorians require a couple of different characteristics, one of those being patients you have to be able to work through the problems that are presented by the patient because you have a lot of unknowns.

I would also say due diligence you have to be willing to sit down and really work throughout all the problems but most importantly I think you have to work a autonomously.

A lot of times you're unsupervised there on the bench and you require the skillset that you learn in school and you have to apply that skill set to make sure that you're making the right calls or the right diagnosis for the doctors could then treat those patients.

After successfully completing army basic combat training you will attend 52 weeks of advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas to include a residency at a major military hospital laboratory.

You will perform elementary blood banking and clinical laboratory procedures in hematology, immuno-hematology, clinical chemistry, serology, bacteriology, parasitology and urinalysis

You will be responsible for collecting blood specimens by venipuncture and capillary puncture along with packing, unpacking, inspecting, storing and distributing blood and blood products and assembling disassembling and maintaining laboratory equipment.

Following successful completion of all required training you will be eligible for assignments at military hospitals located around the world or a military research laboratory.

I appreciated that I was able to get paid to go to school while learning a very valuable career path that, whether I wanted to stay in or get out of I was going to be able to continue to have a good life after the fact.

I chose the medical laboratory specialist field because I had just come out of college and I thought that I wanted to become a doctor and all the information that I got when I did my research pointed to medical laboratory specialist as a really really good foundation.

A doctor can't do his or her job without us.

As a soldier you will also have the opportunity to further your military and civilian education with additional specialized training or through college courses.

Your military experience can help you in your transition from the military to the civilian workforce where you may pursue a career with privately owned laboratories, hospitals, clinics or research institutions

Aiding in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease are the Army's medical laboratory specialists.