As a medical technologist, you’ll be responsible for providing safe and effective treatments to patients. You’ll use your knowledge of technology and science to help patients and doctor’s in a variety of ways. From diagnosing diseases to performing surgeries, you’ll be an essential part of the medical community.
Learn About Being a Medical Technologist in 2022
As a medical technologist, you are responsible for ensuring the safe and effective treatment of patients. You work with a variety of patients, from the sick to the healthy, to help them receive the care they need. In order to become a medical technologist, you must first complete an accredited program of medical technology. After completing your program, you will then be able to qualify for licensure in your state.
What Does a Medical Technologist Do?
A medical technologist (MT) is a professional who provides medical care through the use of technology. MTs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. They use a variety of medical technology to diagnose and treat patients. In addition to providing medical care, MTs also play an important role in the development of new medical technologies.
A medical technologist (MT) is a professional who performs medical technology services. They may work in a hospital, clinic, or other health-care setting. In the United States, most MTs are employed by private hospitals and clinics. They use their skills to perform a wide range of medical procedures, including but not limited to: artificial intelligence (AI) treatment, surgery, and microscopy.
A medical technologist, also known as a medical laboratory scientist, performs testing in a laboratory setting, logging results while following established laboratory protocol. While they prepare specimens for examination, the medical technologist may use automated technology as well as specialized instrumentation to complete the test and interpret the results. They also diagnose, troubleshoot and repair issues with laboratory equipment.
Medical technologists may also:
Verify that the test result matches the given specimen
Perform tests on fluids, tissue and blood
Collaborate with laboratory supervisors or physicians while working with patient data
Determine the cell count, chemical content, blood type or drug levels in a given specimen
Search for the presence of certain microorganisms, parasites or bacteria in a given specimen
Medical technologists are typically full-time employees. The typical tenure for a medical technologist is one to three years. Some geographical locations may pay higher wages based on need. Experience and education level can also affect salary. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.
Common salary in the U.S.: $28.45 per hour
Some salaries range from $7.65 to $56.35 per hour.
Medical technologist requirements
Medical technologists may need to meet certain education and training requirements. Additionally, some states have licensing and certification standards for these professionals.
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Medical technologists need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, while a master’s degree is useful for advancement in the field. Those with master’s degrees typically have a higher chance of becoming laboratory directors. Degree fields could include life sciences, clinical laboratory science or medical laboratory technology.
Common topics studied at a four-year undergraduate program include:
Students learn foundational knowledge of medical technology practices in classroom and laboratory settings, and they often include internships. These undergraduate degrees prepare students to enter the medical technology field as soon as they graduate.
Most of the training a medical technologist receives is during the undergraduate or master’s program. Students typically complete internships in the final half of the program. During an internship, they gain practical experience in a laboratory setting. They learn how to handle specimens, perform tests and analyze results under the guidance of experienced laboratory professionals.
In some states, all professionals who work in a lab, including medical technologists, need to earn a license. The guidelines for licensure vary by state, but most require proof of a bachelor’s degree or higher in medical laboratory technology or a similar field and for candidates to pass an exam.
Many employers prefer to hire a medical technologist who has been professionally certified. These two institutions offer medical technologist certifications:
American Medical Technologists
The AMT offers a medical technologist license for those interested. An MT shows an individual’s ability to apply practical knowledge in a laboratory setting. To earn an MT, applicants must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass an exam. MT certification holders need to renew this credential every three years.
American Society for Clinical Pathology
The ASCP offers several certifications for medical technologists in different specializations. Each certification requires applicants to meet certain educational and experience requirements before sitting for the exam. Certificate holders should renew their credentials according to ASCP’s guidelines.
There are many skills that a medical technologist will need to be successful in their field, including:
Medical technologists often work with other laboratory professionals, so the ability to communicate is important. They should be able to give directions, explain procedures and offer results. Medical technologists also need written communication skills to create reports and deliver findings.
Attention to detail
One of the most important duties of a medical technologist is handling samples and specimens. They may manage multiple samples at the same time, so they need excellent attention to detail to ensure they label items correctly and perform the correct tests.
These professionals may perform a variety of tests that may take a full day or several days to complete. They should be able to manage their time to ensure they complete each test, record results and report findings. This could involve creating a calendar with a timeline for the progression of each sample.
Medical technologists should be highly organized to reduce mistakes. Their work area should be clean so they can access tools and machinery easily. They should keep samples and specimens organized to ensure they administer the correct tests. Organization includes keeping any electronic files ordered as well.
Medical technologist work environment
Medical technologists usually work in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories or clinics. A typical work environment for a medical technologist includes:
Standing or moving while working with equipment
Sitting for extended periods while working on a computer
Working in a laboratory setting with a workbench
Using a variety of tools and equipment
Handling potentially hazardous material
Wearing protective clothing, such as gloves, closed-toe shoes and goggles
Communicating with other laboratory professionals
How to become a medical technologist
You can follow these steps to become a medical technologist:
1. Earn a degree.
A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement to be a medical technologist. You should earn a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology or a similar field. If you want to excel in a medical technology career path, consider earning a master’s degree so you can earn promotions.
2. Gain experience.
You’ll need to have some experience in a laboratory setting. Many bachelor’s programs include an internship, which can count toward work experience in an entry-level position. For additional professional experience, you can work as a medical technician before applying to medical technologist jobs.
3. Apply for licensure and certifications.
Depending on the state where you plan to work, you may need a license. It can also be helpful to earn certifications to demonstrate your professionalism in the field, potentially increase your earning potential and expand job opportunities available to you. You can earn certifications from the AMT or ASCP.
Medical technologist job description example
Johnson Clinic is seeking a medical technologist to add to our team. This individual will work with a team of two technologists and three assistants and will report directly to the director.
Prepare cultures of tissue samples
Establish and monitor programs
Ensure data accuracy
Examine slides of bodily fluids microscopically
Cross-matching blood for transfusions
Look for components in fluid
Validate lab reports for accuracy
Calibrate and operate equipment
Deliver results to researchers, patients or physicians
Minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology
Minimum of three years of hands-on experience as a medical technician or similar field
American Society of Clinical Pathologists member
Licensure from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
The medical technologist will need to assist the appropriate staff during audits and assessment of operations. While there are flexible hours, on-call availability and night shifts may be required.
The medical technologist will need to be comfortable wearing safety gear, such as surgical masks, latex gloves and appropriate laboratory gear. On occasion, earplugs or earmuffs may be needed to dampen the noise of laboratory equipment.