The healthcare industry offers plenty of career options to choose from. If you have a strong passion of seeing people improve their health and assisting scientists and medical staff, becoming a clinical support worker can just be the right career option for you. But before you enroll into a relevant course and get trained as a clinical support worker, you need to be well informed of the duties, job responsibilities, employment opportunities and earning of these professionals, also known as medical lab assistants. Below, we discuss all this and much more.

Job Responsibilities
Since you would spend major part of your time in the medical laboratory, lab skills are an important part of your duties. Typically, a clinical support worker would be responsible to handle the following tasks inside the medical lab.

Handling specimens
Helping in the analysis of fluid and tissue samples
Operating machines
Preparing chemical solutions
Storing and maintaining data into computer
Hazardous waste disposal
Equipment sterilization
Looking after stock control

Apart from handling the above mentioned responsibilities, a clinical support worker or medical lab assistant may also need to look after telephone enquires and filing records. These healthcare industry professionals work in close contacts with scientists. While working with scientists, you would work in the following areas of medical science.

Studying various chemical reactions in the body (biochemistry)
Examining disease tissue structures (histopathology)
Analyzing viruses, illnesses they cause and preventive vaccines (virology)
Studying the cell structure and cell functions (cytology)
Analyzing blood diseases (hematology)
Studying the functioning of the immune system (immunology)
Educational Qualification & Training Required

Educational Qualification & Training
No specific qualification is required to become a clinical support worker. Employers, however, prefer those candidates who carry GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) (A-C) including Mathematics, Science and English. A good understanding of medical terminology and some experience in the NHS (National Health Service), particularly in laboratory setting, provides a competitive edge to candidates planning to become a medical lab assistant.

Other Skills Required
Besides getting trained and qualified as a clinical support worker, candidates also need to possess some other essential skills. These include accuracy, attention to detail, excellent hand-eye coordination, methodical approach towards work, good team playing skills, good organizational skills, capability to handle work pressure, time management skills and the ability to abide by health and safety guidelines.

Career Opportunities
The NHS and private hospitals offer plenty of employment opportunities for clinical support workers. Trained professionals can also land jobs at places like public health service, blood transfusion service, medical research labs etc. For career advancement, you can also decide to obtain a biomedical science degree and become a biomedical scientist. As you grow in experience and skill sets, you can also establish your career as a cardiographer, cervical cytology screener or phlebotomist.

Annual Salary
While starting your career, you can earn and annual salary ranging between £13,300 and £16,300. With growing experience, your salary can reach up to £18,200 annually.

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