Are you a happy MLT?

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

84 months ago

WOW. I am really not sure what to think. I considered nursing, but I am not interested in the one-on-one patient care aspect of nursing. I am making plans right now to begin my education for a career as an MT, and since there are no programs in my immediate area, I have to travel quite a bit. The only program offered is at least an hour away and it is an AS degree. I am interested in a BS degree, but I will have to take the AS and continue online for the BS as there are NO courses offered in my area.

To go through such measures to obtain a degree in a field with such "happy" people, I am not so sure. I am going to print these opinions and discuss this with the head of the program where the AS degree is offered to see what she thinks.

I would love to hear from anyone else with an opinion on the matter. Thanks.

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LARRY ROBINSON in Charleston, West Virginia

82 months ago

SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida said: I am considering a career as a medical laboratory technologist, but I have read a lot of unhappy posts. Is there anyone out there who is happy with their career joice as an MLT? Is it difficult to get a job in the field? I've read of MLT shortages, so one would think there are jobs available. It sounds as if the shortage creates a lot of stress on MLTs to get an excessive amount of work done during their shift, and I have read a lot of gripes about old-timers not giving up-and-comers a chance. I guess you have people complaining in all lines of work? I would love to hear some positive points regarding a career choice as an MLT. Thanks.

I HAVE BEEN A MT FOR ALMOST THIRTEEN YEARS NOW AND IT REALLY DOES SUCK FOR A CAREER. THE STRESS LEVEL IS PROBABLY HIGHER THAN ANYOTHER HEALTHCARE FIELD. LAB PEOPLE ARE LESS RESPECTED AROUND THE HOSPITAL THAN OTHER ALLIED HEALTH CARE PEOPLE. WE ARE ALWAYS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAY SCALE. THE PAY IS NOT TOO BAD, BUT YOU WILL EARN YOUR PAY EVERY DAY AND THEN SOME. THE AUTOMATION THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND TAKE THE PLACE OF TECHS DID NOT HAPPEN. THEY DIDN'T REALIZE IT BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE FEEDING THESE MONSTERS THEY CALL AUTOMATION LINES. I HAVE WORK WITH TWO DIFFERENT AUTOMATION LINES (BECKMAN AND ROCHE) AND THEY HAVE MADE WORKING IN THE LAB TWICE AS HARD. SO, IF YOU CAN GO INTO X-RAY OR NURSING. I HAVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN BOTH AND THEY LOVE IT. NURSES PAY IS USUALLY THREE TIMES A LAB TECH AND THEY CAN NAME THEIR OWN SCHEDULES. GOOD LUCK.

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Nightsaber, MT (ASCP) in Tulsa, Oklahoma

82 months ago

In repsonse to Larry Robinson's Post:

This is a very skewed and pessimistic view on the medical laboratory field. I would hope anyone looking into this field was not deterred by this post. The field is by no means the most stressful in the healthcare industry. Nurses, for example, deal with quite a bit of pressure from doctors and other staff being that they are in charge of the direct care of multiple patients! I can't imagine that kind of stress and that requires amazing people skills. Don't forget that its easy to look at other careers and underestimate the work and dedication involved. The field of medical technology is a little misunderstood and salaries are not necessarily commensurate with the education involved but I think we can expect this too improve significantly in light of the growing shortage and aging workforce. And the average RN does NOT make 3 times
what the average MT makes in most areas, 1.5 times at most. Mr. Robinson, I suggest you find another line of work, this one if obviously not for you. At least find another job in an unfamilar department in a new institution.

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Prem Sharma in Gainesville, Florida

82 months ago

In response to Larry Robinson's post. I agree with you regarding low salaries for the experienced MT/MLTs. The major problem is a lack of growth opportunities at least in the same facility where you are working. For example, if you are in a hospital for 13 years and none of the supervisors left than you are stuck. I think there is a need of step system similar to those exist in Government. Also, there is a need of clear cut differentiations between the salaries for the years of experiences 1, 3, 5, 7 and so on. It will be good if there are several intermediate titles for Med Techs. For e.g., Med Tech, Senior Med Tech, Asst Manager, Manager, Asst. Director, deputy Director and so on. Regarding Stress, it varies, let us say from Microbiology to hematology to clinical chemistry to Blood Bank etc.

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Natasha in Blair, Nebraska

82 months ago

I have been a MLT for almost a year now, and currently pursuing my Bachelors Degree to be a Medical Technologist. Personally I enjoy it very much! I wanted to have a career in the medical field without having so much patient contact. That is why I believe becoming a MLT was a good career choice for me. Most of the time Lab Assistants or phlebotomists collect the specimens and I perform the testing. I really don't have to get my hands dirty I guess you could say. The one thing I also enjoy about starting out as a MLT is there is so many other career choices I could branch off into.....Pathologist Assistant, Medical Tech, and not to mention specialize in one specific department like Blood Bank or Microbiology with only a couple more years of school. I believe the Lab setting is only made for certain people; you either love it or hate it. I personally enjoy my job as a MLT and don't plan to change my profession any time soon!

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

82 months ago

Larry is right as far as hospitals are concerned.The labs at some of the larger hospitals are ok but some aren't. Small hospitals I would avoid altogether. A lot depends on how well organized a lab is and it depends in large part on the attitude of the pathologist who is usually the person who is in charge of the lab.If he or she is willing to stand up for the lab and see it is appreciated by the hospital and the doctors and get for the lab what it needs then things usually go well..if he or she isn't and they won't defend the lab/stand up for it with the medical staff and the hospital admin then things usually go badly...
Reference labs and state labs are usually better places to work but of course that's not true in every case plus the pay is generally lower at those labs than at hospital labs.
I know some people love their jobs and are in good work environments/situations but some of course are not and that's why you really have to be discerning as to what job to take and learn as much as you can about the situation before you take the job.There are jobs I have had that in retrospect I should have turned down and waited for something else.I know that is hard to do when you are unemployed and really need a job but it's better than taking a job that you are unhappy with and much better than having to leave a job prematurely because you are not suited for it or it's not a good fit for you.

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Queen of Sheba in Boca Raton, Florida

82 months ago

Hi All,
I have been in the med tech field for 18 years, left for 10 and now I am back. I was really excited at having gotten a job in Blood bank at the local hospital.
After almost 10 months, I am burned out, hurt and turned off by the attitudes of all of my co workers. Instead of people helping me and welcoming me, all I have gotten is disrespect, meanness, gossiping, jealousy, rudeness, impatience and cruelty. There is an acting temporary supervisor there and a lab manager who are really totally mean control freaks. I don't know what I am going to do. I need to go back to school and get into another field. I am tired of being around people who are miserable and hate each other. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

82 months ago

Queen of Sheba in Boca Raton, Florida said: Hi All,
I have been in the med tech field for 18 years, left for 10 and now I am back. I was really excited at having gotten a job in Blood bank at the local hospital.
After almost 10 months, I am burned out, hurt and turned off by the attitudes of all of my co workers. Instead of people helping me and welcoming me, all I have gotten is disrespect, meanness, gossiping, jealousy, rudeness, impatience and cruelty. There is an acting temporary supervisor there and a lab manager who are really totally mean control freaks. I don't know what I am going to do. I need to go back to school and get into another field. I am tired of being around people who are miserable and hate each other. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

Again it depends on where you are working...Hospitals tend to be more like that..more like your situation...You could try to get a reference lab type job..I know Labcorp has some facilities in Florida.....and I know some of their labs are ok places to work from what I have heard...
What is your major in/undergrad degree ?
If you have one..if not you can go back to school and try to find some sort of niche...see how many credits short you are from a chemistry degree for example...
Good luck.

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Shanna

81 months ago

I love my job as a medical technologist...I am a recent graduate and though it can be frustrating that nurses make a little more money than we MT's (because our program is harder) I would hate all the direct patient care. I do not understand why everyone complains about the job and the pay. It is really not that bad. The job is not very stressful and also very interesting. You can find a job in almost any laboratory setting as well. The pay and jobs are soon to be increasing as well....Most MT's are nearing retirement and there is not a lot of students entering CLS programs because you can do things like nursing and make a little more money. I think that all the MT's must sit around and talk about how bad they hate their job because I have been hearing that a lot lately but I am greatful and helpful for my career...I feel accomplished and I do not have to be reminded of my acheivments to make me feel successful. Do not allow others judgements and feelings to shift you from a carerr in medical technology because I have found that no matter what field you look into there will always be people unhappy with their jobs....I guess that why they call it work because guess what it is work and we would want to be doing something different some days so why complain??

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

81 months ago

Shanna said: I love my job as a medical technologist...I am a recent graduate and though it can be frustrating that nurses make a little more money than we MT's (because our program is harder) I would hate all the direct patient care. I do not understand why everyone complains about the job and the pay. It is really not that bad. The job is not very stressful and also very interesting. You can find a job in almost any laboratory setting as well. The pay and jobs are soon to be increasing as well....Most MT's are nearing retirement and there is not a lot of students entering CLS programs because you can do things like nursing and make a little more money. I think that all the MT's must sit around and talk about how bad they hate their job because I have been hearing that a lot lately but I am greatful and helpful for my career...I feel accomplished and I do not have to be reminded of my acheivments to make me feel successful. Do not allow others judgements and feelings to shift you from a carerr in medical technology because I have found that no matter what field you look into there will always be people unhappy with their jobs....I guess that why they call it work because guess what it is work and we would want to be doing something different some days so why complain??

It depends...it can be very stressful..work in blood bank and have someone bleeding to death in an OR and you'll feel the stress most certainly.Not knocking anyone but you need to have experienced the full range of jobs in the field to say whether it is actuallly or can be stressful...

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Nightsaber, MT (ASCP) in Tulsa, Oklahoma

81 months ago

Shanna said: I love my job as a medical technologist...I am a recent graduate and though it can be frustrating that nurses make a little more money than we MT's (because our program is harder) I would hate all the direct patient care. I do not understand why everyone complains about the job and the pay. It is really not that bad. The job is not very stressful and also very interesting. You can find a job in almost any laboratory setting as well. The pay and jobs are soon to be increasing as well....Most MT's are nearing retirement and there is not a lot of students entering CLS programs because you can do things like nursing and make a little more money. I think that all the MT's must sit around and talk about how bad they hate their job because I have been hearing that a lot lately but I am greatful and helpful for my career...I feel accomplished and I do not have to be reminded of my acheivments to make me feel successful. Do not allow others judgements and feelings to shift you from a carerr in medical technology because I have found that no matter what field you look into there will always be people unhappy with their jobs....I guess that why they call it work because guess what it is work and we would want to be doing something different some days so why complain??

Well said Shanna. I agree with you on every point. I too hear a lot of complaining from other MTs who for whatever reason are unsatisfied. This seems to be from those who feel like they haven't found their niche or passion. Those who love their work don't consider it work and will naturally seek out new challenges and stay involved. I've been an MT in microbiology for 3.5 years and am now pursuing my specialty certification and I can't imagine a scenario where I would consider trading this career in.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

I am in the middle of an MLT program here in Oklahoma and have no worries that I'll get hired before I'm finished. Gosh, DLO (a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics) offers to pay for your schooling in exchange for a 2 year employment contract. There is no shortage of jobs out there. My wife is an MLT and has a great job.

Re: pay, my wife started at $16.50 right out of school, which may be considered low by some people, but after only 4 years she's up to $21. You do have to take the opinions of some people with a grain of salt.

And while there is a bit of stress involved, I don't think it is any higher than any other job. Seriously, is there such thing as a stress-free job? That's why we go to 'work' instead of going to 'play'.

Personally, I am proud of my career choice. I am proud of my wife for becoming an MLT and I will be proud to be one myself. I think there is nothing so noble as working in the health field, and the intricacies of a diagnostic clinical laboratory are exciting and stimulating. My only regret is that I wish I had done this about ten years earlier.

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Rus just go straight for the MT, its these MLT positions that are lowering our pay. They have to close there programs down in order to command higher salaries. Do you realize b/c your making 16.50/hr, and I come to your hospital as a MT looking for decent pay reguardless of year of experience EMPLOYEERS WILL NOT PAY WELL, b/c of your field. They know they can hire cheap labor so in essence your screwing over all the MT new grads.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Rus just go straight for the MT, its these MLT positions that are lowering our pay. They have to close there programs down in order to command higher salaries. Do you realize b/c your making 16.50/hr, and I come to your hospital as a MT looking for decent pay reguardless of year of experience EMPLOYEERS WILL NOT PAY WELL, b/c of your field. They know they can hire cheap labor so in essence your screwing over all the MT new grads.

That is not accurate. Management positions in the lab are held by MTs and every MLT works under an MT. The MTs, incidentally, make much more than MLTs, regardless of efficiency or ideas on work ethics.

I am in no way of screwing over either you or any new MT graduates. I am trying to make a decent living for myself and my family. Any MT graduate that can't get a job, (in the state of Oklahoma anyway), has other issues than the fact that there are a few MLTs working in the lab.

As for me, I am just a guy that took this for a mature discussion, but I apologize if I was mistaken in that regard.

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Rus this is not the case in the east coast, MLT can work independently. I worked in a hospital were 2 MLT were doing the 11pm-7am shift by themself, no MT supervision. Management and a department supervisor have to have a BSMT, I agree with you there. But as a tech working out of school, at least in the east coast, MLT are lowering wages of the BSMT graduating. There was a case were I was looking for a new job, I asked them a certain wage, they would not give me what I was looking for b/c most of the lab was run by MLT that make such drasticially lower wages, and the only way to get decent pay is to get into management but I would rather just work as a tech.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

I know of MLTs working similar shifts here in Oklahoma, I'll give you that. But, and you have to admit this, they still don't make wages comparable to that of MTs.

I will reiterate that if you can't find work as an MT it is not the result of an over-proliferation of MLTs. I find that to be a skewed OPINION that is more of a reflection of your attitude than the available job market. I very seriously doubt that your interviewer informed you that you wouldn't get the wage you were looking for because the lab was run by MLTs.

So my advice to you; move to Oklahoma. ;) The wages for MTs here is awesome and there is no shortage of jobs, especially not a shortage of jobs for MTs.

I don't mean to sound argumentative, but I am extremely happy with my choice of career. To have it belittled in any way is unpleasant, especially when I feel that the belittling is in error. I think that anyone interested in becoming an MLT or an MT should be encouraged, not overwhelmed with bitterness or misinformation.

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Rus I enjoy my professon, trust me I have been in it for 10 years. But I want my salary to increase like all the allied health profession out there. If a certified RN had ten years experience they would command at least 31-35/hour. This goes with most allied health professions except the clinical end of it. Even radiology which is a 2 year associate degree makes more than most MT's? I truely believe it is b/c we have MLT in the profession that have a lower salary base. If you were required to only have BSMT in the clinical laboratory, HR would be FORCED to pay well b/c its a higher degree and if you have all that experience they would pay you as well.

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Rus to add I know I can find work, that is the plus about the profession, but I want to get paid for my years experience not not necessarly get into the management side.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

I can understand that. You do have a point about pay caps in the profession. I'm only saying that I don't think it is due to MLT graduates flooding the workplace.

Maybe it is just here in Oklahoma, but there are so many job openings for clinical lab scientists that there just aren't enough Med Techs to fill them. So you have the MLTs that aren't required to go through 4 years of college, filling a lot of gen-ed credits that have nothing to do with labwork, but can become a functional intelligent lab worker that is just as capable of running the same tests as an MT, but with half the time invested in school.

But to shorten this discussion, my eventual goal is to get a BSMT. I'd just like to get into the workplace first and work on the Bachelor's on the side. An MLT degree is a great way to accomplish that end, wouldn't you agree?

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Yes that is a good foot step, I am not saying that its a good move by you, I totally understand you want to get a job, I hear ya on that one, I am just saying, think if you were in my shoes. If you had a BSMT and worked for a certain # of years, and asked for what you think was fair, and human resource looks as if your crazy asking for what you think you deserve, you get disgusted by the whole profession when you know a RN, OT, PT, Radiologist can easily make that much with less experience.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

I concede your point about low pay, I just don't agree that it is because of MLTs. But let us agree to disagree, eh? Ultimately, we are both working toward the same end.

And besides, it could be worse. We could be phlebotomists!

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Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

ok thank GOD were not sticking all day. Rus you made a good move, this profession will definetly give ya a steady paycheck, so good luck to you.

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Bradley74 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: I concede your point about low pay, I just don't agree that it is because of MLTs. But let us agree to disagree, eh? Ultimately, we are both working toward the same end.

And besides, it could be worse. We could be phlebotomists!

Hello! I am also in an MLT program here in Oklahoma (I graduate in May) and I was wondering where you went to school? I'm a student at Rose State.

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Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

Bradley74 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: Hello! I am also in an MLT program here in Oklahoma (I graduate in May) and I was wondering where you went to school? I'm a student at Rose State.

I'm at Rose State also! I don't graduate till next December, but if we haven't been in classes together yet, I'm sure we will be this next semester. What classes did you have this last semester?

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Scott in Caddo Mills, Texas

79 months ago

Rus. I'm moving to Oklahoma. I'm down here in Texas (Dallas). I already have an MLT training from the Navy. After the Navy, I went and got a biology degree. I'm thinking I should take the MLT ASCP cert, work for a couple of years, then challenge the MT ASCP. I agree with you that the unhappy ones who are in this field are maybe not in the right career. Maybe they should have gone to medical school. I didn't choose medical school, nursing, imaging, or radiology because I do not like direct patient care. I enjoy being a lab rat. So if an RN gets a higher pay, they deserve because their job is very stressful dealing with sick people.

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lisa

71 months ago

I think you have to be a certain kind of person to like working in a laboratory, whether it's a clinical or a research laboratory. You have to know that it won't make you *happy* per se, and some days will be completely horrible. But that's science for you. I'd rather have a bad day in the laboratory than a good day at any number of conventional "low-stress" jobs.

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Thought Wonder in Bellingham, Washington

71 months ago

Ken Jones in Akron, Ohio said: Bill in CA summed up clinical lab work well. I graduated in May 2008 from a 2 year program here in Ohio. I've been scouring the online posted positions in Ohio and there are not very many. I've been granted 3 interviews, which I thought went well. Unfortunately, I've heard nothing one way or the other.

At least half my class of 14 students were hired during their 3 month internships. I had no hope of being hired because my hospital was closing. Ironically, GRADES and total college credits do not matter. My grades were among the highest and I have 139 total college credits. Yet, I am the one who remains unemployed.

I am in great shape, very health conscious, don't smoke, drink and I jog and exercise every day. Thought that would matter a little to health based employers. Guess it doesn't. I am older than most students and that probably counts against me.

I was optimistic as a student, but I have now become pessimistic as my job search enters its second month.

P.S. Hospitals are strict so they require good references and a flawless background check.

Hospitals will not hire anyone with if there is a blemish on their record? I was charged with an MIP (alcohol) 4 years ago when I was 20... should I even consider going into this field because I may not be able to get a job as an MT?

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Larry in Richardson, Texas

71 months ago

With all the HR outsourcing blemishes are hard to find.

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blah in Saint Louis, Missouri

70 months ago

"Are you happy being a MLT doing the same things as MT's, but making less." There, I fixed it for you.

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LISA in Austin, Texas

70 months ago

I stared a 2 year MLT program at age 19 and have been an MLT for 13 years. I was completly excited and proud to be in the healthcare field and planned to continue for a higher degree, but life happens.
I have worked in just about every type of lab and they are all the same and it has gotten old...boring and yes I am a Generalist.
The low pay is not due to us MLTs with "lack of education" opposed to the all mighty MT who can't seem to multitask. The low pay is due to overpayed managers, expense of running lab equipment, and Administration picking on the little people. If they could pay housekeeping less they would. Does anyone have any ideas on a career change for me?

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sunshells in Boca Raton, Florida

70 months ago

Yes, go to work for one of the companies that make the equipment and/or the reagents in either repair, technical support or sales rep. Your lab experience and enthusiasm should get you a foot in the door.

Also, try getting into the computer field. That's what I'm doing.

Good luck!

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lisa

70 months ago

Rus in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: I can understand that. You do have a point about pay caps in the profession. I'm only saying that I don't think it is due to MLT graduates flooding the workplace.

Maybe it is just here in Oklahoma, but there are so many job openings for clinical lab scientists that there just aren't enough Med Techs to fill them. So you have the MLTs that aren't required to go through 4 years of college, filling a lot of gen-ed credits that have nothing to do with labwork, but can become a functional intelligent lab worker that is just as capable of running the same tests as an MT, but with half the time invested in school.

But to shorten this discussion, my eventual goal is to get a BSMT. I'd just like to get into the workplace first and work on the Bachelor's on the side. An MLT degree is a great way to accomplish that end, wouldn't you agree?

Rus, I'd suggest going straight for the MT for an entirely different reason than Ben did. If you like the material, when you do the MT program, you get to wallow in hematology, roll in microbiology, dive into clinical chemistry, luxuriate in immunology and swim in blood banking. Yes, it's intense--all science all the time (except for the management portion which I didn't like). I like science that much, and I like it on a very intense level. I'm also crazy. Just ask my classmates, my instructors, my family, and my former coworkers.

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Chris Tarpley in West Columbia, South Carolina

69 months ago

As the spouse of an MT I have learned alot from my wife's comments about her work. She has had both good and bad experiences. The bad ones were all in small hospitals. I've read previous posts that are correct in stating that the pathologist usually runs the show in these smaller outfits and if spineless can promote misery among lab personnel. Current shortages in qualified staff create short staffing which can double the stresses of lab personnel as their hours can become excessive. I feel this is dangerous as fatigue can contribute to fatal errors. My wife's current lab which services a hospital with 46 beds and an ER has 4 ppl to staff all shifts 24/7. I wouldn't go to that hospital. The comments about a lack of respect for what lab personnel do is also correct. There is regulatory agencies to certify the personnel of labs, yet there is no regulatory agency to supervise their management. I suspect the unhappiness of ppl in small labs is due to management trying to cut costs. Yet how costly is a multi-million dollar lawsuit when a mistake occurs. It may be inappropriate for me to be posting here as I am not in this profession, but I do know 2nd hand what some of the problems are. Take it for what it's worth.

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pinksweater99 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

66 months ago

Hi everyone,
I work at a hospital in central PA as an MLT and I do enjoy my job for the most part. At our hospital the MT and MLT are paid the same after they are certified and share the same job responsibilities.I do get some hostility from MT's who feel that MLT's are not qualified to work in the lab or that they should be a pay difference since they have a four year degree. They have to realize that most of the MT programs at local colleges and hospitals are non-existent.There are still local hospitals that pay MT and MLT different salaries and they can get a job there if they feel that their degree is not being utilized at their current jobs. I came into this field because I wanted to work in a hospital lab not to take jobs from MT's or to lower their salaries.However, in our lab we have CLA's who were trained as MLT's in the 70's, MT, MLT's, and techs who have BS degrees so the education is very diverse. We may get paid lower than nurses, but think of all the stress they have to deal with from Dr.'s patients, etc.

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STANDARDS in Lewisville, Texas

66 months ago

This is the reality folks:

Pathology Assistant was on the job training, now requires a masters degree with certification: PA (ASCP)
the wages are close to $80k to start. Very few schools offer the degree.

Physician Assistant was a BS degree now they require a Masters. School is almost as difficult to get in like Med School.

Pharmacy was only a BS degree about 10 years ago.
PT and OT was only a BS degree like 5 years ago.

This is called Degree Inflation to keep standards high and keep wages high.

If there is a lower degree that can do the same job, there is no degree inflation, hence keeping standards low, wages low, thus lack of interest.

ANY JOB CAN TO ON THE JOB TRAINED, my pathology assisant was on the job trained, now my hospital only hires NEW GRADS FROM NACCLS acred schools. Which increased her salary starting to 80K!!

To ALL THE MLTS, that is what I am trying to tell you, standards keep people in the field, and keep wages high, its not about who does a good job or not, I am sure the OJT PA does just a good job with someone with a Masters in Pathology Assistant. But these STANDARD DEGREES AND LICENSES keep wages high.

I realize that most the MLTS here are just trying to fight for their associate degree, what you should be doing is bridging to a BS degree online so as a end result hospital will have no choice to hire someone with JUST A ASSOCIATE DEGREE, thus justifying the low salary

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MLT in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

59 months ago

Ben in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Yes that is a good foot step, I am not saying that its a good move by you, I totally understand you want to get a job, I hear ya on that one, I am just saying, think if you were in my shoes. If you had a BSMT and worked for a certain # of years, and asked for what you think was fair, and human resource looks as if your crazy asking for what you think you deserve, you get disgusted by the whole profession when you know a RN, OT, PT, Radiologist can easily make that much with less experience.

The MLT position exists because it was the answer to the MT shortage. MLT's are not lowering the MT's payscale. The pay for Med Tech jobs was always too low and thats why people stopped pursuing that career and that is how the MLT position came about. The pay for Med Techs has actually increased in the last few years.

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labgirl39 in Painesville, Ohio

59 months ago

SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida said: I am considering a career as a medical laboratory technologist, but I have read a lot of unhappy posts. Is there anyone out there who is happy with their career joice as an MLT? Is it difficult to get a job in the field? I've read of MLT shortages, so one would think there are jobs available. It sounds as if the shortage creates a lot of stress on MLTs to get an excessive amount of work done during their shift, and I have read a lot of gripes about old-timers not giving up-and-comers a chance. I guess you have people complaining in all lines of work? I would love to hear some positive points regarding a career choice as an MLT. Thanks.

I've been working in the lab for 15 years (mainly hospital labs) as a generalist. At first, it was a very interesting job. My first job as a "newbie" was nice because the staffing was appropriate. I was able to take my time and learn more hands on lab techniques after getting out of school. I had plenty of other coworkers to help me with difficult situations or questions. That isn't the case any longer. Labs are staffed with the bare minimum of people. You are rushed much of the time to get the work done. New techs are basically thrown out into the work to either sink or swim. It's very difficult and stressful. I have learned over time that other health care professionals don't have much respect for us in the laboratory. Many don't even realize that we have to get a college degree and be certified or licensed to work in our profession. As for our compensation, most other fields in health care earn more than we do. If you ask anyone who's been in the lab for a number of years if they are happy...many would tell you no. There are many bitter "old timers" out there. I would tell you to really think about your decision carefully and perhaps research other health care careers completely before making your choice.

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Sarah in Apple Valley, California

59 months ago

I was just wondering why California community colleges are opening all these MLT programs when the job does not even exist.I knew of three colleges that had them, but yesterday I saw that Southwestern college and Miramar college in the San Diego area are opening programs also. I did a job search, and there were only two jobs in all of southern california available. I was considering MLT as a career choice, but why would I spend my time and money to get a degree in something that does not exist.

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J30 in Pensacola, Florida

58 months ago

Thanks for that. I am currently a student in my second year of college. I am trying to decide if I want to go to nursing school or CLS school. I really like the idea of job security that a BSN RN offers, but..... I really liked my microbiology and pathophyisiology classes. Which is why I think that I might enjoy a career as a CLS better.

Does anyone know any CLSs/MTs that are in the Navy or work for the GOV? If so whats that like?

Does anyone know of CLSs/MTs that work in forensic labs?

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J30 in Pensacola, Florida

58 months ago

pinksweater99 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania said: Hi everyone,
I work at a hospital in central PA as an MLT and I do enjoy my job for the most part. At our hospital the MT and MLT are paid the same after they are certified and share the same job responsibilities.I do get some hostility from MT's who feel that MLT's are not qualified to work in the lab or that they should be a pay difference since they have a four year degree. They have to realize that most of the MT programs at local colleges and hospitals are non-existent.There are still local hospitals that pay MT and MLT different salaries and they can get a job there if they feel that their degree is not being utilized at their current jobs. I came into this field because I wanted to work in a hospital lab not to take jobs from MT's or to lower their salaries.However, in our lab we have CLA's who were trained as MLT's in the 70's, MT, MLT's, and techs who have BS degrees so the education is very diverse. We may get paid lower than nurses, but think of all the stress they have to deal with from Dr.'s patients, etc.

It is true Nurses do get alot of stress and are also undervalued. My mom was a nurse for 20 years and is now an NP/PA she used to tell me while she loved her job she hated how some patients and physicians would treat the nurses.

I tend to agree that CLS/MTs should get paid more, but thats only because I am currently in school for my degree. It is unfortunate though that it would seem that alot of the first two years of the four year degree is alot of fluff that really has nothing to do with the major. I get a little discouraged when I see that MLTs MTs can work in the same pay grade, because it would seem that my generation's BS degree is the new AS degree. I would expect that in the near future it will be required to have a an MS degree to be a CLS. Which is the case for NPs who previously needed only to be an RN AS or BSN.

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J30 in Pensacola, Florida

58 months ago

STANDARDS in Lewisville, Texas said: This is the reality folks:

Pathology Assistant was on the job training, now requires a masters degree with certification: PA (ASCP)
the wages are close to $80k to start. Very few schools offer the degree.

Physician Assistant was a BS degree now they require a Masters. School is almost as difficult to get in like Med School.

Pharmacy was only a BS degree about 10 years ago.
PT and OT was only a BS degree like 5 years ago.

This is called Degree Inflation to keep standards high and keep wages high.

If there is a lower degree that can do the same job, there is no degree inflation, hence keeping standards low, wages low, thus lack of interest.

ANY JOB CAN TO ON THE JOB TRAINED, my pathology assisant was on the job trained, now my hospital only hires NEW GRADS FROM NACCLS acred schools. Which increased her salary starting to 80K!!

To ALL THE MLTS, that is what I am trying to tell you, standards keep people in the field, and keep wages high, its not about who does a good job or not, I am sure the OJT PA does just a good job with someone with a Masters in Pathology Assistant. But these STANDARD DEGREES AND LICENSES keep wages high.

I realize that most the MLTS here are just trying to fight for their associate degree, what you should be doing is bridging to a BS degree online so as a end result hospital will have no choice to hire someone with JUST A ASSOCIATE DEGREE, thus justifying the low salary

Thank you for that. I was just saying something similar. As a prospect I would prefer to have a better salary outlook. I really feel that the licensing agencies should require a min of a CLS/MT or related BS degree. It would seem that even Nurses have the pay separations and there are plenty of ADNs and LPNs running around. They don't get paid the same as BSN RNs, and from what I understand they are limited in their responsibilities, particularly when it comes to handling drugs.

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Ted in Orlando, Florida

58 months ago

I am looking into becoming a MT in Florida. I have a B.S. in biology and a couple years of lab experience, but in an environmental/chemistry setting. The pathway to become one is a little ambiguous to me. Can someone help me figure out what I need to do?

These seem to be the most helpful links I could find, but it is still confusing:
www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64B3-5

www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/ClinLab/clp_lic_req.html

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Nekie in Goose Creek, South Carolina

54 months ago

I'm graduating from a tech school spring of 2012 with a degree in MLT the school is in charleston, SC. I have been looking in paper and on line to look to see if there is a big demand for jobs but I don't see any....is this really a good field???????

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Sonia R. in Gainesville, Florida

54 months ago

Go to USA jobs. I work for the VA hospital and earn 60,000/year.

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Sonia R. in Gainesville, Florida

54 months ago

I was hired by the Va seven years ago. They were recruiting MT in Puerto Rico because of the shortage. They paid all my moving expences and gave me a sign bonus of 2,000. The benefits are the best plus you get raises every year.

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Sonia R. in Gainesville, Florida

54 months ago

Sorry, expenses.

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RB in Gresham, Oregon

48 months ago

Yes, you are in the medical field. I am a little shocked that they didn't do a background check before your second year in class. You have access to personal information about people. Deeper than just account information. It's peoples medical privacy. So, yes immaculate would be a good word.

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RB in Gresham, Oregon

48 months ago

If you haven't been through the program already, you probably won't make it through if you aren't intelligent enough to do a job search.

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CD in Louisville, Kentucky

48 months ago

I am not an MLT but will be starting that program soon. I want to add a little perspective from outside the field:

1. Nurses don't get paid more because of their clinical knowledge. I agree, it is less than an MT or MLT even. They get paid more because the nature of the work is very difficult in other ways, and they have a huge amount of responsibility. MTs might be examining some feces, but the nurse had to dislodge it, impacted, from the patient's rectum. And if you think that's bad, just think about where the vomit came from... More importantly, they have to develop and manage care plans for multiple patients. They are working on their individual licenses, and even if the facility short staffs them, making it hard to appropriately care for all the patients, it is still their own personal license on the line. LPN/LVNs also work under them, and the RNs license is on the line if they misdirect them. I considered nursing and am doing MLT -- many nurses suffer burnout and physical problems. Especially hospital nurses.

2. The miserable, overcompetitive, egomaniacal environment is characteristic of the medical world in general. I don't know why, I guess it is so credential-focused and hierarchical that it lends itself to these problems. I find that easier to take in a hospital, actually, because it really is life or death (or at least measurable impact on outcomes). Versus a law firm, for example, which has the same attitudes but with far less reason for it. My point is, this is part and parcel of the medical field as a whole, not just the MT field.

3. The economy has everyone on edge. Boomers are hanging on and bitter about seeing things vanish right before their eyes (understandably). Xers are frustrated because they can't move up (understandably). Everyone wants more money and everything is getting more expensive. This, also, is going to be true everywhere you go (except maybe finance, LOL).

Just my two cents.

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Angela in Harker Heights, Texas

43 months ago

Hi everyone, just had a question, I'm considering a MLT program, and was wondering how difficult it is, and if it would be possible to work while in the program, also I'm in Texas so does anyone know the entry level pay and if it is difficult to obtain a job as a new grad?

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