Medical laboratory technicians, as well as pathologists, clinical laboratory managers and medical technologists, may disagree that MLT is a low-risk, low-stress job
Medical laboratory technicians, rejoice. Your vocation has been officially proclaimed one of the least stressful jobs for 2013. Do you agree?
According to online career site, CareerCast.com, medical laboratory technician ranked number 5 on the list of the 10 least stressful jobs for this year. Forbes.com reported the story.
Difference between Medical Laboratory Technicians, MTs, and CLSs
Before going further, it is helpful for DarkDaily.com readers to be reminded that news reporters and journalists often fail to make the distinction that there are significant differences in the education and competencies of medical technologists (MT) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), as compared to medical laboratory technicians. For that reason, readers should extend some forbearance to the authors of the CareerCast.com list of least stressful jobs for 2013.
Medical laboratory personnel might be amused to learn that MLTs are in good—or at least eclectic—company. Sharing top honors for least anxiety-producing métiers are university professor, tailor, librarian and drill press operator.
The list of low-stress, top 10 occupations shares one common underlying characteristic, according to CareerCast.com publisher, Tony Lee. “In these jobs, you’re doing something for which you are highly qualified,” he stated in the Forbes story. “These jobs tend not to have someone standing over their shoulder putting pressure on them to get things done,” Lee stated. “People are in control of their day—working as fast as they feel they need to be effective.”
List Criteria Include Low Risk of Danger in Work Environment
From 1995 to 2009, The Wall Street Journal ran an annual ranking list of best and worst jobs, Forbes reported. When the Journal dropped the list in 2009, Carlsbad, California-based CareerCast.com picked it up.
This is the third year CareerCast.com has published its list of least and most stressful jobs. The company considered 200 professions in its database. It used 11 stress-provoking job demands. Criteria for determining stress levels inherent in a job included travel, growth potential, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, and risk to one’s own life or to the lives of others.
Here is the full 2013 list of the top 10 least stressful jobs:
1. University Professor
3. Medical Records Technician
5. Medical Laboratory Technician
8. Hair Stylist
10. Drill Press Operator
“If you look at the criteria for stressful jobs, things like working under deadlines, physical demands of the job, environmental condition hazards, is your life at risk, are you responsible for the life of someone else, they rank like ‘zero’ on pretty much all of them,” Lee stated. “There’s no physical risk at all, and no one is depending on you in your job to make their life expectancy last longer,” he added in the Forbes story.
MLTs, as well as medical technologists, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, might see things differently.
MLTs and other clinical laboratory personnel are well aware of the potential safety hazards inherent in medical laboratory work.
For example, in one of its e-briefings, Dark Daily reported on a study that showed that clinical laboratory professionals exposed to certain common solvents are at increased risk of developing autoimmune connective tissue diseases. (See Dark Daily, “Health of Pathology Laboratory Technicians at Risk from Common Solvents like Xylene and Toluene”).
Beyond hazardous chemicals, there are risks from infectious diseases, microbes, sharp instruments, laboratory equipment, gases, radioactivity, and ignitable and explosive materials.
Some University Professors Are “Outraged” over the List
If medical laboratory workers take exception to the CareerCast.com list, they will be in the company of fellow low-stress A-listers: university professors. According to Forbes staff writer, Susan Adams, she received over 150 comments from sometimes outraged faculty, who claimed that their job is quite stressful.
“I love my job,” one professor wrote. “It’s definitely deeply rewarding. But the stresses are intense and the workload never ending.”
Maybe that comes closer to accurately describing some of the other “least stressful” jobs.
In any event, hopefully medical laboratory technicians, medical technologists, and clinical laboratory scientists share similar feelings of fulfillment when they leave work at the end of their day.
—Pamela Scherer McLeod
The Least Stressful Jobs of 2013
Dark Daily, “Health of Pathology Laboratory Technicians at Risk from Common Solvents like Xylene and Toluene”
Safety Elements in Medical Laboratory Practice video
What is The Dark Report medical laboratory intelligence membership service?
I really do not know who came up with this list. But, med tech jobs are the most stressful jobs on earth; especially in the USA.
I am a lab mgr at a very busy gp’s office and have been for 8 years. My day begins @6am and ends between 5:30 and 6pm. Our office is open M-F 7:30-5/5:30pm. Our lab processed 8700 cbc’s alone last year in addition to the numerous other tests we offer. Our office sees between 100/125 patients daily. We process labs for a local nursing home, rehab and hospital.
I work with MLT’s in one of the most stressful jobs there is. We test patient specimens STAT with lives depending on the results with nurses and doctors breathing down our necks. We perform blood bank work that a mistake could literally kill someone with giving the wrong type of blood. Some MLT’s are supervisors and managers, having to deal with compling with regulating agencies, making sure everything is running correctly with QC and maintainance, and dealing with nurses, doctors, patients and staff. No, this is NOT a stressfree jobs-in fact, apx 15 years ago, the laboratory professional was considered one of the top 10 MOST stressful jobs.
Clock punchers in white lab coats. These type feel they are really someone and throw all their coworkers to include MDs under the bus the first chance they get. There is the stress of the profession.
I don’t think so. When I began working in the laboratory the job was classified as 2nd most stressful. Air traffic controller was in the number 1 spot. I don’t think you can separate the different lab titles and stress levels. The stress of the lab has increased in the last 30 years not decreased. It is all about volume, speed and patient safety and that is stressful.
At my lab, there are 5 techs. In the past 5 years, 10 people have quit, 3 were fired, and 1 guy killed himself.
I work in a biochemistry lab and a lot of staff are off sick frequently through stress. Its one of the most stressful jobs. Who on earth wrote the list?
Really? Every day is 10 hours of pure stress. takes me hours to wind down after i finally escape the lab. i practically run to the car at the end of my shift.
My husband is transferred frequently, so I have worked as a Med Tech in 5 different labs in various parts of the country over the past several years. Every one of these labs has been seriously (some dangerously) short-staffed. I often go home from work completely frazzled and exhausted, and feeling like our lab is not providing good service for our patients, even though we are working like crazy to get results out. My job is not only physically exhausting, but emotionally upsetting as well, because I KNOW that the life and health of our patients is affected when we are constantly behind. I have seen Med Techs work 16-hour shifts FOUR times a week, for weeks on end. ONE double shift is one too many considering the non-stop demands and need for mental sharpness. Frankly, I completely regret choosing such a low-paying, high stress career. This article is absolutely false, and is a slap in the face to those of us being over-worked in laboratories.
I have not read anything so utterly ridiculous as this article. We are the team that obtains patient results that assist the physician in determining diagnosis. Without us they have nothing. Short staffed lab staff, fast track nurses with little experience, physicians expecting MacDonalds drive thru service at the risk of the patients outcome, long shifts, substandard medical lab technologists who state they work for easy money, meaning they take shortcuts and not perform at 110 percent, if they show up at all…. Oh yeah.. No stress… What a crock… Someone wrote this without experiencing this thankless industry..but what’s new… Whatever makes a headline unverified and inaccurate! Shame on people seeing us as stress free….. We are the ones correcting the errors of physicians and nurses daily.
Stressful! When Techs do make a mistake and correct it so the patient gets the right results we are criticized as if we don’t know what we are doing, or told to slow down. That makes me more nervous. My first lab job encouraged you to catch your mistakes and fix them. Where I work now, they act like it is a crime to make that mistake and correct it. My mistakes happen when there is too much going on, but I am happy I am able to catch the mistake within a few minutes of putting it out. No harm done and patient results are good.
I work in a hospital lab with a level 2 trauma center. On any given night it can go like this; code blue room 926, multiple trauma gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen and in 2 hours this patient has gone through 20 units RBC’s 10 units platelets, 35 unit fresh frozen plasma, and is still in surgery needing more blood product, on top of this blood must be typed and screened for the days surgeries and we have 195 morning blood draws. Answer phones, send faxes, call doctors and nurses with critical s and in my hospital MLT’s and MT’s do the same work. Oh yes if something goes wrong with an instrument we must also troubleshoot and get the days work done. This is just a few things that can happen in one night. One night we had 3 gunshot patients come into our trauma unit. Come follow us around and see for yourself what the stress level is. This is all in the front line work it doesn’t include all the regulations we must abide by and quality control that must be preformed so we know results we give are correct.
Lab tech not stressful?
I dread going to work and count the hours until I leave as soon as I arrive.
Anymore stress and I think I might step into oncoming traffic.