Medical Technicians are healthcare professionals who perform the majority of their job duties in a medical laboratory.
They are in charge of taking bodily fluids and tissue samples taken from patients to run a variety of routine medical tests.
Individuals who want to become a Medical Technician will need a combination of personal characteristics, some postsecondary education and certification in order to succeed in this profession.
Education Requirements to Become a Medical Technician
Individuals who want to become a Medical Technician will need a minimum of an Associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate in order to enter this profession.
In addition, some individuals will need to secure a license and register with their state in order to work in this profession.
This last qualification will depend on the state and employer an individual chooses to work for.
Individuals who want to become a Medical Technician will benefit from taking science courses such as chemistry, mathematics and biology in high school.
With the basic understanding of these sciences, individuals may enter an associate’s program in clinical laboratory science to help them enter this profession.
Another option to enter this profession is to attend a certification program in lieu of completing an associate’s degree.
Clinical laboratory science certificates may also be offered by hospitals running nursing programs.
These types of programs typically last one year to complete.
In addition, technical or vocational schools and the armed forces may also offer programs in medical laboratory and provide the necessary certification to enter this profession.
Medical Technician Job Description
Medical Technicians are responsible for handling samples of bodily fluids, tissues and other samples collected from patients and carrying out a variety of routine medical laboratory tests.
Medical Technicians will first receive an order from a licensed practitioner such as a surgeon or physician to take samples and run medical tests.
Medical Technicians must use their attention to detail and organizational skills to assure medical samples and tests don’t get mixed up and are accurately reported under the correct patient’s medical records.
These professionals will also use their analytical skills in order to review several types of bodily fluids including blood, urine, tissue samples or saliva.
They will perform tests on samples such as blood to determine the samples blood type, cells count and morphology for things such as blood transfusions.
In order to perform and run tests, a Medical Technician will use sophisticated and advanced technology such as microscopes, cell counters and computerized laboratory equipment.
They will gather data from the tests and log them into a patient’s medical record.
Medical Technicians may also meet with the corresponding physician to discuss details regarding the tests and the results.
Medical Technician Salary and Career Path
In 2012, the median salary for Medical Technicians was approximately $37,240 per year.
Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including years of experience, schedule and company size.
Some Medical Technicians can earn more than $57,000 per year.
The majority of Medical Technicians work fulltime although hours of operation will heavily affect their works schedules.
Because some medical facilities, such as hospitals are open round the clock, the need for Medical Technicians who work evenings, overnight or weekends is highly sought after.
Individuals who work outside normal business hours are also more likely to get paid more to help fulfill demand.
The job outlook for Medical Laboratory Technicians is expected to grow by 30 percent through the year 2022.
This job outlook is considered a much faster growth when compared to other professions.
This growth is attributed to the demand in healthcare services from the aging population that is living longer.
These individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with medical illnesses such as diabetes 2 and cancer and the laboratory tests needed to diagnose and treat such illnesses will need to be handled by Medical Technicians.
A career as a Medical Technician can be a great opportunity to enter the healthcare and medical industry.
Some benefits to focusing on this career include the expected job growth and the demand for healthcare services.
This career may be a perfect match for individuals who are detail oriented and enjoy working in a laboratory setting.