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Online Lab Tech Courses and Classes Overview

Lab techs perform tests used to determine drug effectiveness and diagnose and research diseases. Online lab tech courses are part of certificate and degree programs in clinical laboratory technology or related areas.

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Online Courses for Lab Techs

Here are some of the lab tech courses that can be taken online.

  • Lab Operations Course: Students learn the practice and theory of managing a clinical laboratory. Topics in this course include financial and personnel management, quality control and assurance, accreditation, regulation, information management and continuing education.
  • Medical Terminology Course: Students learn the names of the parts of the body in this course, along with the basic medical terminology that is necessary to work effectively in a lab or other medical environment. This course may be a prerequisite for other courses.
  • Clinical Chemistry & Body Fluids Course: The course teaches students the principles of the function and structure of the human body's organic compounds. Emphasis is on organ system function and its reaction to abnormal and normal lab results. Students learn about body fluids, fluid chemistry, serum and urinalysis.
  • Human Biology Basics Course: Students learn the basic concepts of human biology, including body systems, biochemistry, cell function and structure. This course emphasizes t evolution and genetics, along with the relationship between the ecosystem and humans.
  • Intro to Lab Techniques Course: This course introduces students to the basic techniques and equipment in the medical laboratory, including balances, lab glassware, solution chemistry, titration and basic lab mathematics. Focus is on the fundamental procedures of a clinical laboratory.
  • Introduction to Hematology Course: Students are introduced to the practical application and theory of hematology procedures as a way of differentiating abnormal from normal red blood cells. Students also learn to evaluate and understand blood smears, hematopoeisis, red blood cell functions and diseases associated with abnormalities in the blood.
  • Introduction to Statistics Course: Students learn the basic concepts of statistics and probability including critical thinking, methodologies and sampling distributions.
  • Pathogenic Microbiology Course: This course provides an overview of the microorganisms that cause diseases, as well as the instrumentation used for microbiology experiments. Areas of study include bacteria, clinical mycology, parasitology and virology.
  • Molecular Diagnostics Course: In this course, students learn about the theoretical principles behind using molecular data to diagnose human disease. Molecular diagnostic technology is also covered.

Program Information

Clinical laboratory technology programs require a great deal of hands-on lab work; for this reason, some courses are not offered online. Some are offered in a hybrid format in which a portion of the class is taken online, with the rest in lab. These courses generally lead to associate degrees in clinical laboratory technology or bachelor's degrees in clinical laboratory science; some post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available online. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected that employment for medical and clinical laboratory technicians would increase by about 14% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov).

Individuals who want to work as medical or clinical lab techs can find online courses that provide the biomedical educational background needed for success in the field. These studies are typically combined with hands-on training in the field.

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