The medical technologist career is one of many medical career paths one can take after obtaining an additional certification. Medical technologists are also called clinical laboratory technologists, which is a title that also tells you a bit about their workplace. These professional medical staff members work in laboratories, whether in larger hospital complexes or in independent labs.
The job of a medical technologist includes analyzing blood and tissue samples for the purpose of medical diagnosis. The scientific tests that are performed on blood samples allow doctors to get an accurate insight on the patient’s condition, the progression of potential diseases as well as many other metrics that are useful in providing medical assistance.
Thus, medical technologists are members of the medical staff who deal with blood testing and analysis. As such, they bear a lot of responsibilities for what they do. Throughout their work hours, medical technologists spend a lot of time standing as they operate the advanced equipment, which can become quite tiring. Their job consists of preparing tissue or liquid samples, performing different tests on the blood and tissue samples, reporting results and communicating with doctors and other members of the team.
Once the blood test results are ready, it is the medical technologist’s job to inform the doctor on the patient’s condition and the specific test results. They have to collect all the relevant data related to the patient and their test results and clearly report it to the doctor. Even though these tasks may sound simple, the job of a medical technologist is not an easy one.
To become a medical technologist one must be a highly trained professional because this job brings along relevant duties and responsibilities. For example, one mistake made by a medical technologist when analyzing blood samples can lead to incorrect diagnosis and inappropriate treatment. This can leave serious consequences for the patient and cost the technologist a job!
Besides the great responsibilities that come with this career path, there are some risks attached to it as well. Because they work with blood and tissue samples, medical technologists are likely to frequently come across contaminated and infectious materials. These materials can affect human health negatively, which leaves the medical technicians exposed to hazards and dangers.
Because of the high risks of infection, a medical technician must be professionally trained to perform infection controls and follow the sterilization protocol. All equipment used during blood and tissue tests must be properly sterilized, which is another thing that gets on the list of duties of a medical technologist. For more accurate results and a safer workplace, medical technologists use special equipment to perform the analyses. Once the blood tests are finished the staff members must perform thorough cleaning and sterilization of every object and piece of equipment that was used in the process.
These procedures are taught in the medical technician training programs, where students can learn how to responsibly handle the advanced equipment and sterilize the workplace effectively.
What medical technologist training is required for the job?
In order to be able to take up this job, you need to become a certified medical technician. The medical technician certification is mandatory for getting hired. This certification is obtained after finishing college and getting a BA degree in a medical flied. So, what does the medical technologist education consist of?
For starters, the minimum level of education you need in order to be able to chase this career path is a bachelor’s degree. BA courses at college that are related to a certain medical field prepare the student for what they might be doing in the future. These programs, however, last 4 years, which some people consider to be way too long. There are many careers out there that you can chase with a specific certification but when it comes to medical jobs, a solid educational background in the field is required.
Some people have gone after the medical technologist career after only obtaining a BA degree and without any additional certifications. It isn’t impossible to get a job without a medical technician certification but those who go through medical technologist training and become certified have much better chances of getting hired and staying on the job long-term. After finishing the specific college course in a medical-related field, you cannot get certified right away because there is one more thing you need to get done.
This makes medical technologist education a bit more complicated but it is a mandatory step that will ensure you are ready for this job. After obtaining your BA degree, the next step in terms of education would be to go to the AMT agency, or American Medical Technologists agency, and get a professional certification. However, things aren’t that easy! To be able to enroll in the American Medical Technologists Agency, you need a BA degree plus a year of experience in this field.
While getting that year of experience isn’t impossible, it would be difficult to try to get employed at this stage. You are more likely to get that year of experience through internships and only after a year of working in the field you will be able to enroll in the AMT program. Once you join the agency, you will have a chance to participate in their professional designation programs and learn more about this medical field. At the end, you will be required to take an exam and if you pass it successfully, you will gain your medical technician certification.
You may be wondering why you would need a certification when it isn’t impossible to get hired with the BA degree only. The thing is, certified medical technologists get hired more often and they have higher salaries, which is more than enough motivation for you to enroll in the AMT program. Besides, the course topics you would study during the medical technologist education process are quite interesting and include subjects such as psychology, anatomy, lab management and immunology.
Medical Technologist Salary
The big question is what is the medical technologist salary? The average medical technologist salary equals to $60,520 per year, which is quite a great amount, considering we are talking about the average payment. That means a highly paid medical technologist can make up to $80,000 per year.
The salary of an individual medical technologist depends on the hospital or the lab they work in, as well as their skills and abilities. Having a certification can significantly boost your numbers when it comes to the payment, which is why you should definitely focus on getting certified after receiving your BA. In terms of career advancement, medical technologists can get promoted to being lab directors, which also gives a significant boost to the salary. However, to be qualified for this kind of a promotion, you need to obtain a master’s degree after the BA one.
Medical Technician Certification
After receiving proper medical technologist training and getting your medical technician certification, a medical technologist faces pretty good odds in terms of job opportunities and salaries. These medical professionals are highly sought after and it is believed that they will grow higher in demand as the years go by. Choosing to become a specialized medical technologist is a great option if you are ready for the challenges this job position will put in front of you.
Keeping in mind all the infection risks and hazards a medical technologist faces, as well as the responsibilities they have in terms of test accuracy, this job position is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Doctors rely heavily on medical technologists and their test results when creating treatments and diagnoses, which is why a medical technologist is a very important person in the medical team.