Summary: Medical technologists conduct and analyze the results of laboratory tests on blood and bodily fluids by means of sophisticated procedures and equipment. They work hand in hand with doctors or laboratory directors on patient data whenever test results are examined and completed.
Duties: Some duties that a medical technologist might be requested to perform might include: establishing and monitoring programs to ensure that data are accurate; preparing cultures of tissue samples; testing blood for transfusion purposes; examining slides of bodily fluids using a microscope; testing blood or urine for toxic components; studying lab reports to ensure accuracy; operating medical equipment; handing over test results to doctors, researchers or patients; and collecting and studying samples of blood to verify morphology.
Education and Training Requirements: The minimum entry-level requirement for a medical technologist is a bachelor’s degree. Although these programs include typical classroom lessons, they give more emphasis on laboratory instructions than in a normal undergraduate degree program. In the event that a medical technologist wants to advance to a laboratory director position, he must obtain a 2-year graduate program in biological sciences. This master’s degree program is aimed at training clinical professional to come up with the ever-developing standards of laboratory medicine.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: To be a successful medical technologist one must have the following: familiarity with plant and animal organisms, their cells, tissues, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with one another and the environment; knowledge of the chemical composition, properties, and structure of substances as well as the processes and changes that they go through; knowledge of the principles and procedures for giving customer and personnel services; expertise in office and clerical procedures and systems; and an excellent verbal and written communication skill.
Working Conditions: Typically, laboratories are clean and well lit; however, solutions, specimens, and reagents utilized in the laboratory from time to time create fumes. Working conditions of medical technologists vary with the type and size of the company. In large hospitals that operate 24 hours a day, technologists usually work the day, evening, or night shift. They may also work even during weekends and holidays. Those working in small facilities may work on rotating shifts, instead of a regular shift. In some institutions, medical technologists may be on duty for many nights a week or on weekends, especially during emergency cases.
Salary: The average salary of a medical technologist is $45,000. This average medical technologist salary may vary significantly based on industry, company, location, experience and benefits.