Medical scientists conduct medical laboratory tests to provide information for diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.
Duties & Tasks
Medical scientists may perform the following tasks:study blood and its diseases, count blood cells and examine blood slides with a microscope
identify blood diseases such as anaemia and leukaemia
determine the suitability of blood for transfusion by cross-matching the blood with the patient and checking for the presence of diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS
test blood for blood group antibodies that may cause disease in newborn babies and check the compatibility of bone marrow, kidney and other organs for transplantation
determine the chemical composition of specimens such as blood and urine, important in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
grow disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi that are taken from a variety of clinical specimens
prepare body tissues (taken from the body during surgery or post-mortem examinations) for microscopic examination
prepare body fluids for microscopic examination and diagnose abnormalities
isolate and examine genetic material (DNA and RNA) for alterations specific to genetic diseases and cancer, to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions
supervise the work of other scientists, technical officers and assistants
advise medical practitioners on the interpretation of tests.
They work as part of a team with doctors, pathologists, scientists, technicians and laboratory assistants.
able to make clear and precise observations
able to work accurately with attention to detail
good verbal and written communication skills
able to identify and analyse problems and develop practical solutions
able to perform under pressure
able to organise and prioritise work.