Medical Technologist Jobs in a Nutshell
Technology is advancing at an alarming rate, and the medical field is no exception to
this surge in technological growth. This means that there are many opportunities for those
who wish to enter the field of medical technology. However, in order to become qualified
and certified, you must undergo intensive training as these instruments are highly
specialized and someone's life is often at stake depending on the type of medical
technology you specialize in. While the requirements may seem daunting, the financial and
personal payoff is extremely rewarding for many people. Before you consider entering this
field, there are a few things you need to know.
While those who specialize in medical technology do not require the same amount of
school and training as a physician, you must invest a great deal of time in school and
there are other qualifications that you may not immediately realize are important in this
line of work. Not only must you be technologically savvy in your desired area of
expertise, but you must also possess great interpersonal skills as you will have to
communicate with doctors, nurses etc. and in some cases, the patients themselves.
A basic overview will help you to get a better picture of what may lay in store for you
in the field of medical technology.
Medical laboratory technologists are largely removed from the hospital atmosphere and
tend to work in medical laboratories alongside physicians. Their goal is to identify
symptoms and help to diagnose patients' ailments. Their role in the medical field is
crucial, because without this expertise, going about curing people would be an extremely
difficult task. Physicians use the information a medical laboratory technologist provides
in order to properly treat their patients. They are expected to conduct such work as
determining a patient's blood type to identifying diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
In order to be a certified medical laboratory technologist, you must complete a
bachelor's degree (preferably in the sciences) and then must receive a degree from an
accredited medical technologist program. A national certification exam is then required as
this job required you to not only know how to use various instruments such as cell
counters and microscopes, but you must also be able to properly analyze results.
On the other side of the spectrum, radiologic technologists often work directly with
patients and their skill sets and qualifications vary from a medical laboratory
technologist. Also known as radiographers, they perform X-rays in order to help physicians
diagnose and treat their patients.
Because the equipment radiographers use are potentially very harmful, those who wish to
pursue this career must graduate from an accredited training program that requires
anywhere from one to four years to complete. Upon completion, many states require a
certification exam from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Note that while an individual may choose to specialize in a variety of areas such as
computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, many radiographers must speak with
patients on a day-to-day basis, making interpersonal skills a very important asset.
Another interesting career currently booming in the field of medical technology is that
of the cardiovascular technologist. They specialize in heart and blood vessels in order to
treat related ailments. From monitoring a patient's heart rate to performing ultrasounds,
this position requires a great deal of technological expertise and devotion.
Cardiovascular technologists may choose to specialize in vascular technology,
echocardiography, or invasive cardiology.