The future of this field.

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Jeremy in Tempe, Arizona

59 months ago

Overview.

For every 7 people who retire 2 await to take their place.

The healthcare bill will increase # of patients.

retention rate for MT's in the field is low.

MT schools are shutting down. (ASU, the only university in the state of arizona who offered CLS/MT shut down its program)

MLT's, while qualified to run tests probably do not have appropriate working knowledge of sciences without experience (No experience dealing with them just speculation)

If you look at all the pressures of this field closely you begin to realize that since 70-80% of medical decisions made by physicians are based on results of a test in a medical lab, this job should become more vital and given the shortage, salary should increase right?

I am thinking about going back to get my MT bachelors and MT certification.

Am I reading this right? They still want to pay you guys 51-53k (average) when most labs can't even keep regulation levels of staff?

Seems like hospitals are practicing walmart strategies. Ive heard they doc MT salaries before they lay off nurses and cut nursing salaries. Shame.

What do you guys think will happen?

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Tim S. in Chicago, Illinois

59 months ago

the situation isn't as dire as it's made out to be. I score OT whenever I want. Young people are loved in the field because there is a lack of them. MLS-ASCP is the ticket to even more money. State legislations dictate if a state is a good or bad place to work as a MT. It is a highly technical job, and they could not survive without us. If they let nobodys do our work, they would be confused, and too difficult to train. This is one of the few fields where the long and short term advantage are going to the worker. Expect job prospects and salary to rise at a rate faster than other fields in the next decade.

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Tim S. in Chicago, Illinois

59 months ago

Jeremy in Tempe, Arizona said: Overview.

For every 7 people who retire 2 await to take their place.

The healthcare bill will increase # of patients.

retention rate for MT's in the field is low.

MT schools are shutting down. (ASU, the only university in the state of arizona who offered CLS/MT shut down its program)

MLT's, while qualified to run tests probably do not have appropriate working knowledge of sciences without experience (No experience dealing with them just speculation)

If you look at all the pressures of this field closely you begin to realize that since 70-80% of medical decisions made by physicians are based on results of a test in a medical lab, this job should become more vital and given the shortage, salary should increase right?

I am thinking about going back to get my MT bachelors and MT certification.

Am I reading this right? They still want to pay you guys 51-53k (average) when most labs can't even keep regulation levels of staff?

Seems like hospitals are practicing walmart strategies. Ive heard they doc MT salaries before they lay off nurses and cut nursing salaries. Shame.

What do you guys think will happen?

Not all is sunny in the field however. There are A LOT of burned out people. Hours can be long, and shift work is a pain in the butt. Everybody in the hospital will think you are high school educated. And there will be a bottleneck when trying to climb the corporate ladder at a laboratory.

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Jeremy in Tempe, Arizona

59 months ago

Thanks for the incite. Keep it coming everyone. I want opinions :D

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

Salary and even respect for CLSs depends on location. I can't believe Arizona doesn't even have 1 CLS program anymore. Pretty sad.

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

59 months ago

Low pay in a lot of places and disrespected by doctors, nurses and even other healthcare workers.
Doctors tell people they can hire people off the streets who can do what you do.
stuff like that.
Crooked HR people all over the place.Predatory and selfish managers.
Not a good field to go into.
I recommend people avoid it as a primary source of income.If you get into it only use it as a stepping stone to pharmacy school, nursing school or something else with greater rewards/higher salaries.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Hurst, Texas

59 months ago

Angry you need to move out of Tenn. I worked as a traveler and it is like that in certain states. Texas pays OK if you with the right hospital.

Dr. want to control everything, if they had a Dr oversee pharmacy they would have pharmacy techs verify scrips and pay them 10/hour. Dr. office always pay like sh*t, they even have Medical Assistant doing portable xrays because they do not want to pay a certified RT what they deserve.

Hospital are the way to go, reference labs pay low as well, but generally less stress.

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ANGRYWOLF in Knoxville, Tennessee

59 months ago

Todd MT (ASCP) in Hurst, Texas said: Angry you need to move out of Tenn. I worked as a traveler and it is like that in certain states. Texas pays OK if you with the right hospital.

Dr. want to control everything, if they had a Dr oversee pharmacy they would have pharmacy techs verify scrips and pay them 10/hour. Dr. office always pay like sh*t, they even have Medical Assistant doing portable xrays because they do not want to pay a certified RT what they deserve.

Hospital are the way to go, reference labs pay low as well, but generally less stress.

Too old for that friend.
Get married and have a wife, children and the associated expenses and you'll see the obvious shortcomings in this field.

Crooked HR people often populate hospitals...crooked and incompetent hospital administrators see the lab as the lowest thing on the totem pole in their facility.
Not the way to go.We disagree there.

You need two jobs to survive.The best scenario is a reference lab main job and some kind of pt job to help you through the expenses.Not the best scenario but a lot of people see that as their only choice/way of survival.

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Todd MT (ASCP)

59 months ago

Angry you are correct that some hospitals pay terrible. I have noticed the HMA and HCA hospitals pay terrible, THR, Keiser, VA, pay decent.

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

ANGRYWOLF in Knoxville, Tennessee said:
You need two jobs to survive.The best scenario is a reference lab main job and some kind of pt job to help you through the expenses.Not the best scenario but a lot of people see that as their only choice/way of survival.

That's basically what I have, although I can survive off my full time job alone if I wanted. My second job is to help pay my student loans off faster and for some extra cash.

It is true that hospitals generally pay more, but in my opinion, the work environment is much better at reference labs than hospitals. If you're strictly concerned about the money, then large hospitals are the way to go.

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Cisco in Redondo Beach, California

59 months ago

Hey CLS,
What reference labs are there in socal other than bloodbank ones and Quest? I talked to a few
people who worked at quest and they said it's not any better than working at a hospital...

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

Cisco in Redondo Beach, California said: Hey CLS,
What reference labs are there in socal other than bloodbank ones and Quest? I talked to a few
people who worked at quest and they said it's not any better than working at a hospital...

There are a lot. Quest has Specialty, Focus, the one in San Juan Capistrano, the former Unilabs and a lot of stat labs. LabCorp has National Genetics Institute, US Labs, and soon to be another large presence in orange county, as well as other stat labs.

There are also many smaller independent, private labs that are full service or that specialize in immunology/chemistry/molecular assays that bring in a lot of money.

The beauty about reference labs particularly in CA is that the CLSs are the big dogs at the lab. Besides the pathologist who's usually never there, the CLS is an important employee and the only state licensed individual. Besides them you have lab assistants, associates, aides, processors, client services, billing, couriers, IT, etc. Client services usually deals with the doctors or nurses on the phone so angry people will not harass you on the phone as in a hospital. Stats are a joke if you can call them real stats in reference labs, meaning a 4hr TAT or something like that which is a piece of cake.

At hospitals you have nurses, doctors, and all the other healthcare professionals that think they're better than you, and that you have to deal with. Only thing at reference labs is that you get alot more specimens, slightly less pay, and these companies are not as stable as hospitals unless it's Quest or LabCorp. Also, many lab managers will prefer hospital experience over reference lab experience and won't hire CLSs with just reference lab experience. I've seen that a lot. I don't care though because I've worked in both settings.

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Cisco in Redondo Beach, California

59 months ago

Thanks, that helped a lot!
I looked at the labcorp and quest website career pages. Seems like almost all openings
are at the quest san juan capistrano or woodland hills site.

What other websites do you suggest I go to? How do I find what labs there are in OC? Is
there a website with links to them or something? I'm a new grad and looking for places
other than hospitals, preferably in the OC area.

Thanks again!

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

59 months ago

Just a question CLS48, i'm starting my clinical rotations this coming july but so far our director has been telling us that times have much changed since then and more doctors and nurses are aware of what we do/educational backrounds therefore treating us with better respect. Is this true, or what can I expect to experience during my rotations? Thanks alot.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Hurst, Texas

59 months ago

When you work in a hospital setting, nursing are a bunch of @@@@ing morons, they will call every 2 minutes and ask you what color is a lactic acid is drawn in, how many blue tops for a hyper coag panel!! WTF!

Doctors will b@tch at you because they think the test should be done the moment the nurse draws the blood.

So its dealing with moron nurses and @@@hole doctors.

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York said: Just a question CLS48, i'm starting my clinical rotations this coming july but so far our director has been telling us that times have much changed since then and more doctors and nurses are aware of what we do/educational backrounds therefore treating us with better respect. Is this true, or what can I expect to experience during my rotations? Thanks alot.

Well, I doubt that even here in CA. I don't think nurses or doctors know much about our educational background. Many do not believe CLS requires a bachelor's degree and probably think we're all just technicians.

Nurses will call asking you to print out their results to their printers because they are too lazy to look in the computer themselves. They will often call asking for their results claiming the doctor needs them right now when the specimen just came down to the lab. When calling criticals, sometimes the receptionist gives the phone to the doctor instead of the nurse who is supposed to take the critical result calls. I've had doctors tell me to next time call the nurse and give them the criticals even when I intended to.

At one hospital I worked at, the nurses drew the ER patients. 50% of the time the SSTs were hemolyzed so we often had to call ER for redraws. They would always get mad and one time the nurse and doctor called and asked if we purposely hemolyzed the specimen by shaking it too hard lol. I don't even think that is possible. Sometimes nurses didn't believe it was hemolyzed so they walked all the way to the lab just to see the tube.

In another hospital, they had this tube system where nurses would transport specimens to us. Many times they would claim they sent the specimen down the tube system but we never got it and they would get pissed at us, only to find out the tube was still sitting at their end and they hadn't pressed start to intiate the tube system. I have so many stories dealing with idiot nurses it's not even funny.

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

These aren't just RNs but LPNs and LVNs who act like this. They probably think they are smarter and have more education than us so they don't really respect the lab workers. While working at a hospital, you just learn to deal with these type of people. I suppose if you look at it from their standpoint, they are probably stressed having to deal with angry patients and doctors so they usually take it out on the lab.

This is why I like reference labs.

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

59 months ago

why not just speak up? Most of the time anyhow. Shouldn't lab managers stress the time needed for analyzing results at conference meetings etc? Where's the voice heard lol.

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CLS48 in California

59 months ago

Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York said: why not just speak up? Most of the time anyhow. Shouldn't lab managers stress the time needed for analyzing results at conference meetings etc? Where's the voice heard lol.

I suppose lab managers try to fight for the lab. I'm sure that most of the top financial people and bosses of the hospital know that CLSs have a BS degree. I'm positive that at reference labs, almost all the workers know CLSs have a BS degree which is why I think they are respected more in these settings. It's just your average nurse that works on the floor that may be oblivious to it, and even your average doctor except pathologists.

If you think about it, respiratory techs, rad techs, surg techs and a lot of the allied healthcare fields including RNs only require an associates at the most to work. So why would a lab tech need a BS degree. That's probably why a lot of people are ignorant about it.

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Angrywolf in Belfast, Tennessee

59 months ago

CLS48 in California said: I suppose lab managers try to fight for the lab. I'm sure that most of the top financial people and bosses of the hospital know that CLSs have a BS degree. I'm positive that at reference labs, almost all the workers know CLSs have a BS degree which is why I think they are respected more in these settings. It's just your average nurse that works on the floor that may be oblivious to it, and even your average doctor except pathologists.

If you think about it, respiratory techs, rad techs, surg techs and a lot of the allied healthcare fields including RNs only require an associates at the most to work. So why would a lab tech need a BS degree. That's probably why a lot of people are ignorant about it.

Most Lab Managers don't bother "speaking up for the lab".

As long as they get what they want from chief physician , the pathologist and the administration.....they don't care how the bench techs are treated.
I refer to it as the "I've got mine you had better get yours mentality"...Also known as looking out for number one...

They look out for themselves and that is that.

Sadly that's true in a lot of reference labs as well.....

You really have to be discerning to find a decent job nowadays..as you don't want to find yourself in a negative situation.

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Star in New York, New York

58 months ago

I recommend people avoid it as a primary source of income.If you get into it only use it as a stepping stone to pharmacy school, nursing school or something else with greater rewards/higher salaries.

most of my MT classmates use mt as a stepping stone. some of MT apply Nurse, medical school, and pharamcy school. During my rotations, many of my clinical instructors are planning to go back to school. I passed the ascp exam and i am thinking applying for pharmacy school or nurse school. There are more CLS program is closing down due to budget cut, and MT will be a death fleid.

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ANGRYWOLF in Hohenwald, Tennessee

58 months ago

Star in New York, New York said: I recommend people avoid it as a primary source of income.If you get into it only use it as a stepping stone to pharmacy school, nursing school or something else with greater rewards/higher salaries.

most of my MT classmates use mt as a stepping stone. some of MT apply Nurse, medical school, and pharamcy school. During my rotations, many of my clinical instructors are planning to go back to school. I passed the ascp exam and i am thinking applying for pharmacy school or nurse school. There are more CLS program is closing down due to budget cut, and MT will be a death fleid.

well said.I agree 100 percent.

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

Doubt it. Medical technologists are highly skilled professionals for the most part that will only become more rare as time goes on. It is true, in easier areas the workload might be distributed to biology and chemistry majors such as: Chemistry, Coagulation, and Microbiology setups, but some of the laboratory: Blood bank, reading differentials in hematology while interpreting results with CBC, and identifying the bugs in microbiology all require some skill and training. The real problem is: Most of you guys don't step out of your little dark laboratories to see the bigger picture. Think BIG PICTURE here. Right now, a CLS major fresh out of school requires 5 months of training to work in a Level I trauma center. This includes LIS training, reading/interpreting reactions, emergency releasing units, doing inventory, antibody workups etc. This training crash course also involves learning how to deal with all the crabby nurses and doctors who do not realize what you do down in the bank. I could go on to say that somebody hired a biology major as a hematologist and reported out 93 lymphocytes as 93 blasts. A pathologist later caught the mistake. I'm not certain if our pay will ever skyrocket, and I am certain the businessman will find ways to squeeze current laboratory jobs out of the hospital, HOWEVER the death of the field will not occur. CLS schools might be churning out less techs today than they did 20 years ago but this will make CLS graduates more rare. There is about to be a mass exodus in the field: The 60 year olds! My hospital is 60% over 60. Wait until some of these shortages start effecting the hospital. 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week. There are reasons why so many of these people work 2 jobs. THEY ARE SO NEEDED.

I am not saying MT is the best job in the world. Pay is ok. Overtime is good where I'm at, but to think you guys are so unneeded is untrue.

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ANGRYWOLF in Hohenwald, Tennessee

58 months ago

What some hospitals will do is to sell their lab facilities to a large company like Labcorp or quest...if they are already in the area.They will then ship their routine samples off site to a facility owned by the lab company and keep a few techs for stat lab type work.
So you won't see this big hiring of new techs to replace the retiring techs the previous poster has predicted.

Most other hospitals workers including physicians don't consider techs as highly trained workers. Many doctors still believe they could hire someone off the street without a formal education, pay them less than they currently pay their techs, train them and still achieve the same results.

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

See this is a good argument also, but this has already happened at my hospital. I work at a stat laboratory with a skeleton crew. I have watched them juggle third shift blood bankers for years at my level I trauma center (turnover rates extrodinary for qualified workers). Again, they've cut, they've cut, they've cut, they've slashed for years. The problem is they are getting to a point to where the cutting and slashing is harder to do. They need to keep the bare minimum skeletal crew operating the chem analzyers, the UA etc. When the ER is busy we work like dogs to get the doctors results. There is no way they can outsource anything else if they want to keep that ER pumping.

I don't think the outside perception of the laboratory will carry as large of a weight as you think in the future. When managers do the hiring they still want MLS-ASCP. Actaully, I've never seen an ad that didn't at least say they wanted MLS-ASCP. The truth of the matter is that even in the average stat laboratory that employs some 50 laboratorians training a bunch of know-nothings not only will be extremely taxing on current staff, but managers as well. Imagine if 25 of those workers retire in the next 7 years (a likely possibility at my hospital). For a tech to feel competent in all areas of the laboratory it takes about 2 solid years of work. If I'm a MLS-ASCP and I'm training a bunch of know nothings, I might be inclined to go look for another job. Also young qualified MLSs are switching fields at a high rate, which will further destabilize the field.

In chicago I can see sure fire signs of the shortage. I've already recieved multiple offers from other blood banks just begging me to come work for them. Conventional knowledge says it might not be that bad of an idea to be on the hill that everybody is running away from, and that has proven true so far. Median age of techs in the USA is 51 this year, and if the situation is already this dire now...

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

I would like to see how it is in 5-10 years...

Food for thought.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas

58 months ago

Joyride dont let these people bring you down. I see progress in this field. The implementation of the DCLS is a avenue for bright minds to stay in the lab.

Pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, xray, these all all ancillary fields, do you think that MDs would just take anyone off the streets to do those jobs, you bet, they want to lace their pocets.

My best friend is a xray tech that hates his job, his job involves lifting, making sure you get a clear picture for the MD, the grass is always greener when talking about other careers, in REALITY ITS NOT.

Pharmacy is about to have a SURPLUS, ask any pharmacist that graduated now if they get a sign on bonus?

If you want the perfect career, open up your own business and control your own destiny. I would suggest opening up your own lab, after you get your DCLS, you can lease most of the hem,coag,chem analyzers, and do not need a MD to sign out your results.

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ANGRYWOLF in Knoxville, Tennessee

58 months ago

Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas said: Joyride dont let these people bring you down. I see progress in this field. The implementation of the DCLS is a avenue for bright minds to stay in the lab.

Pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, xray, these all all ancillary fields, do you think that MDs would just take anyone off the streets to do those jobs, you bet, they want to lace their pocets.

My best friend is a xray tech that hates his job, his job involves lifting, making sure you get a clear picture for the MD, the grass is always greener when talking about other careers, in REALITY ITS NOT.

Pharmacy is about to have a SURPLUS, ask any pharmacist that graduated now if they get a sign on bonus?

If you want the perfect career, open up your own business and control your own destiny. I would suggest opening up your own lab, after you get your DCLS, you can lease most of the hem,coag,chem analyzers, and do not need a MD to sign out your results.

If the state you are in allows you to do that.
I live in TN and I suspect the state agency in charge of labs wouldn't accept a med tech DLCS as lab director of a clinical lab.

shrugs.
But time will tell.

Anyone who wants to try this route is welcomed to do so.

Let us know how it all turns out.

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Star in New York, New York

58 months ago

I think MD or Pathologist will not like the idea. DLCS-MT might end up as a regular MT.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas

58 months ago

Star give me a break, do you think the MD liked the idea of having a DNP as a primary care provider, of course not, BUT THIS IS HAPPENING.

Its called lobbying, and insurance loving to reinburse LESS.

MD dont like it that they dont control pharmacy, physical therapy, but because of the pharmD and DPT they have NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT IT. Physical therapy is fighting for direct access now so the patient does not need a consult by a MD before they see the physical therapists, so the patient can go straight to the PT. They are fighting this because the PT have a DOCTORATE.

MD want you to think they are the END ALL BE ALL, let me break it to you that is why they are driving their BMWs.

The doctorate fits in with CLIA guidelines so IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

Todd, I think you have made some good points! Pharmacy is a good example of how fields and trends change. It's always possible that managers could further lower standards in the laboratory, but it is risky as well. Qualifed laboratory personnel should remain in demand for along time to come. I think it is a good stepping stone as some of the more negative posters have pointed out, which again is a good point. Pay is average at the moment, but as MLS-ASCPs start to retire, and some of the current "aces in the hole" start to vanish there should be signifigant demand for qualified and responsible med techs who want more responsibility.

I have found no solid evidence to refute this.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

58 months ago

Its hard to recommend lab medicine as a career to anyone because of all the unethical billing practices that occur. Lab is the only branch of medicine, that I know of, where you get referrals based on how much profit you are willing to share with the referring MD. "Client billing" should be illegal. It is ridiculous that a doctor's office can pay a lab a small fee and then collect the full insurance reimbusement, pocketing the difference. The test is being performed by the lab, not the physician. This system is why so many unnecessary tests are ordered and it is causing everyone's health care costs to skyrocket. It is beyond me why this is even legal.

Thanks to Labcop and quest taking over the market, the profit margins are continuing to get smaller and smaller. Higher volume means they can low ball about anyone. In some areas, there are exlusivity deals for managed care contracts. It is a mess. ALL laboratorians need to get together and fight all this unethical billing. This is what is holding the field down and creating monopolies. If labcorp and quest are allowed to continue to take over, the projections for the number of workers needed in the future will be inaccurate. They would love to eliminate as many people as possible with automation and higher productivity.

Long term, technology may put labs out of business. In-vivo diagnostics, point of care etc. Hopefully that willl be far in the future though.

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

This is one of the few fields that needs workers. Even Quest and LabCorp need workers. Anytime you centralize---JOBS WILL BE LOST, but again it's not happening at a rate to where jobs are unavailable. I can work anytime---around the clock in Chicago at just about any hospital. I signed up for over 40 hours of overtime in July. Tell me other jobs you can find that at?

I make more than most other college graduates my own age--raking in about 58k a year. Most are sitting in their parents basement eating cherios.

I continue to obtain skills in diagnostics and automation while other workers in the field simply don't want to do or learn anything. There is a vacuum of motivation in the field, and I will use it to my advantage. This is one of the best fields for somebody of the age 20-35, but if you don't get off your duff and do anything about it-You guys all deserve each other!

Whiners and complainers! :)

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MrMetro in NYC, New York

58 months ago

"Its hard to recommend lab medicine as a career to anyone because of all the unethical billing practices that occur."

AMEN!

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

Technology can't spot trichomonas in urinalysis. Technology can't confirm a macroscopic false positive after viewing a microscopic urinalysis. Technology can't identify a blast cell. Technology can't correlate when a nurse has drawn out of a IV. Technology can't read synovial crystals. Technology can't perform a gram stain. Technology can't say "Hey, this trauma has a positive antibody screen and is forming a Kell. I will antigen type units for Kell quickly so I can emergency release negative units to the patient". Technology can't call critical results. Technology can't call hemolysis to a floor. Technology can't spot atypical lymphocytes. Technology can't look at a blue top tube and see if it's full enough. Technology can't see a nucleolus. Technology can't question a delta check on MCV.

Technology might replace a few more of us in the next decade, but I alone can't handle all the challenges a stat laboratory throws at us---even with all of our wonderful and powerful robots.

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WEBB PINKERTON in Lebanon, Indiana

58 months ago

Joyride in Chicago, Illinois said: Technology can't spot trichomonas in urinalysis. Technology can't confirm a macroscopic false positive after viewing a microscopic urinalysis. Technology can't identify a blast cell. Technology can't correlate when a nurse has drawn out of a IV. Technology can't read synovial crystals. Technology can't perform a gram stain. Technology can't say "Hey, this trauma has a positive antibody screen and is forming a Kell. I will antigen type units for Kell quickly so I can emergency release negative units to the patient". Technology can't call critical results. Technology can't call hemolysis to a floor. Technology can't spot atypical lymphocytes. Technology can't look at a blue top tube and see if it's full enough. Technology can't see a nucleolus. Technology can't question a delta check on MCV.

Technology might replace a few more of us in the next decade, but I alone can't handle all the challenges a stat laboratory throws at us---even with all of our wonderful and powerful robots.

Computer companies probably thought that huge desktops would last forever too. Soon they will be dinosaurs. Technology will be doing most of the things you listed at the bedside in a few minutes. You honestly dont think that the majority of tests being run right now cant be turned into a point of care test? There is some transformational technology coming. Hell I wouldnt be suprised if the I-phone couldnt do some lab testing at some point, lol. If the field of lab medicine has such a bright future, why is there constantly being articles published about how uncertain the future is? There's a new one on the ASCP website today. There are some certainties for the future: more consolidation of labs, more automation, and eventually less jobs.

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liziel in Mount Prospect, Illinois

58 months ago

Joyride in Chicago, Illinois said: This is one of the few fields that needs workers. Even Quest and LabCorp need workers. Anytime you centralize---JOBS WILL BE LOST, but again it's not happening at a rate to where jobs are unavailable. I can work anytime---around the clock in Chicago at just about any hospital. I signed up for over 40 hours of overtime in July. Tell me other jobs you can find that at?

I make more than most other college graduates my own age--raking in about 58k a year. Most are sitting in their parents basement eating cherios.

I continue to obtain skills in diagnostics and automation while other workers in the field simply don't want to do or learn anything. There is a vacuum of motivation in the field, and I will use it to my advantage. This is one of the best fields for somebody of the age 20-35, but if you don't get off your duff and do anything about it-You guys all deserve each other!

Whiners and complainers! :)

Hello. Is there any chance that I can work as Medtech in Illinois? I am RMT(AMT) with 2 yrs experience in the Phils. and now residing here in Mt. Prospect. thanks!

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Star in New York, New York

58 months ago

Joyride in Chicago, Illinois said: Technology can't spot trichomonas in urinalysis. Technology can't confirm a macroscopic false positive after viewing a microscopic urinalysis. Technology can't identify a blast cell. Technology can't correlate when a nurse has drawn out of a IV. Technology can't read synovial crystals. Technology can't perform a gram stain. Technology can't say "Hey, this trauma has a positive antibody screen and is forming a Kell. I will antigen type units for Kell quickly so I can emergency release negative units to the patient". Technology can't call critical results. Technology can't call hemolysis to a floor. Technology can't spot atypical lymphocytes. Technology can't look at a blue top tube and see if it's full enough. Technology can't see a nucleolus. Technology can't question a delta check on MCV.

Technology might replace a few more of us in the next decade, but I alone can't handle all the challenges a stat laboratory throws at us---even with all of our wonderful and powerful robots.

I think technology and system can replace at less 25%-30% of us.
For example:
-usd automatic PCR for bacterial identifcation, instead of traditional methods.
-hire more cheap labors for specimens processing ( this is happening in many big lab).
-The instruments can attach to phone system to call for critical result (some pharmacies use this system).
Everything is possible. They even allow patients buy HIV TEST KIT and DNA TEST KIT.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas

58 months ago

Technology is good for manufacturing or non stat testing. When you are talking about stat testing, you better make sure your istat, or your glucometer are working properly.

Guess what they do when they get a abnormal: glu, trop, h&h on their bedside analyzers? THEY HAVE LAB REPEAT THE RESULT.

Guess what happens in the pnuematic arms breaks down in CHEM OR HEM during MORNING RUN, your fu@ked and you have some pissed off Drs that want IMMEDIATE ACCURATE RESULTS.

Technology will be LIMITED, they will always need qualified personell, that is what they are doing in pharmacy, they have a robot to fill the scripts and the pharmacist verifies.

I have worked in a hospital with mostly automation, what happends the arm breaks down? ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, its not like you are in a assembly line and you can take 2 hour break because the belt is out of line, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PATIENTS NOT PRODUCTS....that is why technology will be limited..

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

58 months ago

Yes but PCR isn't perfect, but I do agree with you that microbiology departments will employ less workers soon. Granted most laboratories in the Chicagoland area don't have a microbiology department... These have already been liquidated to centralized laboratories, and there are still 40+ jobs available on indeed.com (this website) in the area for MTs. So have no fear. We are still be needed!

We don't have a single med tech in processing, and I don't see why we should. Medical laboratory scientists are there to be scientists, not bar code scanners.

Look, they will probably find ways to do ok with less techs, but the problem is there are less techs graduating than ever. My manager said if an IT guy blows away in a storm they can replace him tomorrow, but if a blood banker were to---GOOD LUCK!

He's got a point.

The truth of the matter is we are highly trained personnel with an excellent background in health sciences. The job will continue to evolve in the next 2 decades I'm sure. Record number of techs will be retiring in the next decade, and if management thinks they will be able to easily replace us with a bunch of people who have a lackluster background in health science they will be looking at a world of PAIN.

Take time to think about what you do at work. Take time to think about how you had to learn it. It's not like you were imbued at all the information to be a successful tech at birth. You had to learn it! Pat yourself on the back. You are special!

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas

58 months ago

Like I said NON STAT testing will be sent out, that is why most hospitals have a central area for micro testing, I see reference labs being automated as well.

If there is a 24 hour turn around time I can see technology taking over.

When your talking about the rest of the lab: coag, hem, chem, blood bank, some mic like the bactec for positive blood cultures, stat Gram Stains and wet preps, etc....AS LONG AS THEY NEED IMMEDIATE RESULTS I DO NOT SEE TECHNOLOGY TAKING OVER.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas

58 months ago

Your best job security is to become a generalist, work at multiple hospitals (work with different analzyer) know mulitple LIS systems (softlab, meditech, sunquest, cerner) and you have your BS MT (ASCP) you will ALWAYS HAVE A JOB...

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Jake C. in Plainfield, Illinois

58 months ago

Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas said: Your best job security is to become a generalist, work at multiple hospitals (work with different analzyer) know mulitple LIS systems (softlab, meditech, sunquest, cerner) and you have your BS MT (ASCP) you will ALWAYS HAVE A JOB...

agree!

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marsbaby in Rochester, Minnesota

58 months ago

I don't think telling people to avoid a CLS career is the answer. What we need to do is promote our career to get the younger generation interested in it...like they do with nursing. By the way, my pay is not horrible by any means. I live quite comfortably and am grateful for the fact that I will always have job security. In fact we get paid more than the national average income...stop complaining and be proactive.

Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee said: Low pay in a lot of places and disrespected by doctors, nurses and even other healthcare workers.
Doctors tell people they can hire people off the streets who can do what you do.
stuff like that.
Crooked HR people all over the place.Predatory and selfish managers.
Not a good field to go into.
I recommend people avoid it as a primary source of income.If you get into it only use it as a stepping stone to pharmacy school, nursing school or something else with greater rewards/higher salaries.

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CLS48 in California

58 months ago

I for one am satisfied with my career. At the hospital lab that I work at, we are slowing down so I spend most of my time reading the paper and surfing wifi on my blackberry while getting paid just under $37 an hour. Stress free and relaxing is how I would characterize this field. It's nice to get paid close to $90k a year working 88 hours every 2 weeks at a relatively stress free job. I only hope that other states soon increase their pay for CLSs in the future.

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Star in New York, New York

58 months ago

CLS48 in California said: I for one am satisfied with my career. At the hospital lab that I work at, we are slowing down so I spend most of my time reading the paper and surfing wifi on my blackberry while getting paid just under $37 an hour. Stress free and relaxing is how I would characterize this field. It's nice to get paid close to $90k a year working 88 hours every 2 weeks at a relatively stress free job. I only hope that other states soon increase their pay for CLSs in the future.

I think you live in california, that is why you make more money.
Many places in US do not like that, some people annual income is 35,000-40,000. many hospitals in nyc require at less 2 yr experiences.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas

58 months ago

Star this is the problem with the career, some places do pay terrible because there is no national standards.

I know HCA/HMA hospitals pay terrible, I know presby NY pays decent, you got to move around in certain areas because the pay scale is not consistent from hospital to hospital.

I use to work in the east coast, I had to move around from place to place to find a area that paid well.

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Most of us are proactive... in Knoxville, Tennessee

58 months ago

marsbaby in Rochester, Minnesota said: I don't think telling people to avoid a CLS career is the answer. What we need to do is promote our career to get the younger generation interested in it...like they do with nursing. By the way, my pay is not horrible by any means. I live quite comfortably and am grateful for the fact that I will always have job security. In fact we get paid more than the national average income...stop complaining and be proactive.

shrugs.

People who are satisfied..I am fine with people getting paid well and being happy with their jobs..but those of us who aren't well paid or have been in terrible job situations have a right to complain.

Not fair to label us as whiners or complainers.

Maybe the field will get better pay and the techs the respect we deserve..But I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas

58 months ago

We as healthcare workers do not realize how lucky we are to have a job.

Most of my friends who are engineers, work for a project for 6 months and they are OUT OF A JOB, NO HEALTCARE NO BENEFITS.

I realize they pay should be better, but I thank GOD I have a job everywhere I have moved to, I do move around if the pay sucks, once again the downfall of this job.

But if you think of jobs like IT, Engineering, even Universities are cuttin back, dont even think about the stability of manufacturing, labor any more.

I have seen most professions, pharmacy, nursing, attorney having a SURPLUS because alot of people are looking for JOB SECURITY, we as lab techs are lucky that most people do not know about this field, there wil be a severe shortage, if they protect the scope of practice by hiring qualified personell we will get paid better.

But having a job to me is not a problem with the LAB, the problem with the profesion is low pay do to lack of standards and not a national licensure.

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just a med tech in Rochester, New York

58 months ago

The pay might increase, but it will never be substantial. With insurance companies looking to save every penny they can, and the gov't giving people free healthcare, all while increasing patient workload it will be tough to increase wages. There will be a shortage soon enough, but I think it will go toward working more hours instead of getting big raises.

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