Career Development

What Does a Medical Technologist Do?

Find out what a medical technologist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a medical technologist.

Medical technologists are the professionals who perform tests and procedures on human specimens to determine their composition, structure, or other characteristics. They commonly use equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges, and other devices to analyze blood, tissue, urine, saliva, etc., in order to help doctors diagnose and treat disease.

Medical Technologist Job Duties

Medical technologists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating reports based on test results and communicating with other medical professionals regarding patient care needs
  • Performing tests on body fluids such as blood or urine for the presence of disease or infection
  • Performing diagnostic tests using imaging devices such as X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, MRI scanners, or CT scanners
  • Preparing laboratory equipment for tests, running samples through equipment, recording test results, and maintaining equipment records
  • Communicating with patients about their health status and treatment options
  • Analyzing samples of body fluids, tissue samples, drugs, or other substances to detect the presence of infections or diseases in patients
  • Preparing specimens for testing by collecting and labeling samples, selecting equipment settings, and operating testing machinery
  • Taking patient histories, conducting physical examinations, and performing diagnostic tests to diagnose illnesses or injuries
  • Performing lab tests that require highly specialized knowledge of chemistry and biology, including cultures of bacteria and other microorganisms to determine antibiotic resistance or identify infectious disease agents

Medical Technologist Salary & Outlook

The salary of a medical technologist can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $83,500 ($40.14/hour)

The employment of medical technologists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

An aging population is expected to lead to greater demand for medical technologists. As people age, they are more likely to have chronic conditions, such as arthritis and heart disease, that require regular medical tests. In addition, medical technology continues to advance, allowing medical technologists to do more with less equipment.

Medical Technologist Job Requirements

A medical technologist typically needs to have the following:

Education: Medical technologists are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, biology, chemistry or a related field. These programs typically include coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology.

Training & Experience: Most of a medical technologist’s training will take place during their education. Internships are available for students to gain hands-on experience in a laboratory setting. Students can also gain experience by volunteering in a hospital or laboratory setting.

Certifications & Licenses: In some states, all professionals who work in a lab, including medical technologists, need to earn a license. The process varies from state to state, so you will need to check the requirements in your area.

Medical Technologist Skills

Medical technologists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Medical technologists often work in teams with other medical professionals. They need to be able to communicate effectively with their colleagues to ensure they understand each other and work together to provide the best care for their patients. Medical technologists also need to communicate with patients and their families to explain medical procedures and results.

Attention to detail: Medical technologists use precise measurements when conducting tests and recording results. Attention to detail can help ensure the accuracy of test results and help patients receive the treatment they need. Medical technologists may also use attention to detail when recording patient information to ensure they enter the correct information into a database.

Scientific knowledge: Medical technologists need to have a strong understanding of the scientific method and how to apply it to their work. They need to be able to identify and analyze data, interpret results and make conclusions based on their findings. Medical technologists also need to be able to apply scientific principles to their work, such as the laws of chemistry and physics.

Problem-solving: Medical technologists use their problem-solving skills to identify and address issues in the laboratory. They may need to troubleshoot equipment issues, find alternative solutions when supplies are unavailable or identify the source of contamination in a sample. Medical technologists may also use their problem-solving skills to identify and address workplace safety issues, such as spills or exposure to harmful chemicals.

Technological skills: Medical technologists use technology to analyze samples and conduct research. They need to be familiar with the latest technology and be able to use it to their advantage. Technological skills also include the ability to troubleshoot and repair equipment.

Medical Technologist Work Environment

Medical technologists work in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. They work with patients, doctors, and other health care professionals. They may work in a variety of settings, including blood banks, microbiology laboratories, and clinical chemistry laboratories. They may also work in research laboratories or in pharmaceutical companies. Medical technologists typically work a 40-hour week, but they may be required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays to meet the needs of their patients or their employers. They may also be on call, which means they may be required to work at odd hours or on short notice.

Medical Technologist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how medical technologists work. Medical technologists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in Healthcare

The use of technology in healthcare is becoming increasingly common, as medical professionals are looking for ways to improve patient care and reduce costs.

Medical technologists can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with the latest technologies and how they can be used in the hospital setting. This includes things like electronic health records, telemedicine, and robotic surgery.

Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity in the medical field. This means that patients are taking an active role in their own care, which includes making decisions about what treatments they want and where they want to receive them.

As patient-centered care becomes more popular, medical technologists will need to learn how to work with patients to ensure that they are getting the care that they want. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families in order to provide the best possible care.

More Focus on Preventative Medicine

Preventative medicine is becoming an increasingly important focus in the medical field. This is due to the fact that early detection and treatment of diseases can often lead to better outcomes for patients.

As medical technologists, you can capitalize on this trend by becoming proficient in preventive testing methods. This will allow you to help your patients stay healthy and avoid serious illnesses in the future.

How to Become a Medical Technologist

A career as a medical technologist can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success in this field, including your personality type, interests, and skills.

Do you have an interest in science? Are you detail-oriented and able to work independently? Do you enjoy working with people? If so, a career as a medical technologist may be a good fit for you.

You should also consider the types of jobs available in this field. There are many different specialties within medical technology, including laboratory technician, radiology technician, and surgical technician. Each specialty has its own unique set of responsibilities and requirements, so it’s important to find a job that matches your interests and qualifications.

Advancement Prospects

Medical technologists can advance their careers by obtaining additional education and/or certification. Some medical technologists may wish to pursue a master’s degree in medical technology or a related field such as business administration or public health. With further education, medical technologists may be eligible for positions such as laboratory manager or hospital administrator.

Those interested in research may wish to pursue a doctorate in medical technology or a related field such as biochemistry or pharmacology. With a doctorate, medical technologists may be eligible for positions such as research scientist or college professor.

In addition, medical technologists may wish to obtain certification from a professional organization such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology or the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. Certification can demonstrate expertise in a particular area of medical technology and may lead to career advancement.

Medical Technologist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide high-quality medical care to our patients. We are looking for a medical technologist to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or a related field. He or she will be responsible for performing laboratory tests, such as blood tests and urine tests, and for analyzing the results. The medical technologist will also be responsible for maintaining laboratory equipment and keeping accurate records.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform and document all quality control procedures as outlined in the laboratory’s policies and procedures
  • Perform all testing according to established protocols
  • Maintain accurate and complete patient records
  • Assist in the development and implementation of new testing methods and assays
  • Train new staff members on proper testing techniques
  • Calibrate and maintain all laboratory equipment
  • Order supplies as needed
  • Keep abreast of new developments in the field of medical technology
  • Adhere to all safety regulations
  • Follow all HIPAA guidelines
  • Participate in continuing education opportunities
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in medical technology or related field
  • ASCP certification as a medical technologist (MT) or equivalent
  • 3-5 years experience working in a clinical laboratory
  • Strong understanding of quality control procedures and practices
  • Ability to maintain accurate records and documentation
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in medical technology or related field
  • Additional ASCP certification as a medical laboratory scientist (MLS) or equivalent
  • 5-7 years experience working in a clinical laboratory
  • Experience leading and supervising a team of medical technologists
  • Working knowledge of laboratory information systems (LIS)

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