Are you a happy MLT?

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Bill33 in California

78 months ago

A big thing about liking your job as a CLS is the department you work in because each one is different. In short, blood bank is a lot of repetition in blood typing and antibody screens taking almost little thinking. Plus you have to crossmatch when patients are bleeding and you have to double check your work. It's exciting in that what you do may have the most direct affect in saving patients, but many CLSs don't like blood bank because of the stress.

In Microbiology you get all kinds of bodily fluid specimens, plate them, culture them, and you have to identify the different types of bacteria using different tests. I'd say micro takes the most thinking of all departments.

Hematology has some automation in running CBCs and coagulation tests on instruments, but also has differentials using microscopes to identify different cells in a patient's blood. Many times Urinalysis is included with hematology in identifying things in the urine using a microscope. I prefer hematology/coag/UA of all the departments because it has a good blend of everything.

Chemistry is mostly automation, working with instruments, making sure they run correctly through quality control and calibrations. Once everything is running, all you have to do is spin the specimens and put them on the instrument. I'd say it takes the least amount of thinking and is probably the easiest department to work in. Immunology is usually part of the chemistry department and involves a lot of manual tests and pipetting. Sometimes Polymerase Chain Reaction and molecular techniques are included with this.

In all, I would say much of being a CLS involves repetition of various tasks. In the departments that have a lot of stats, nurses and doctors will be calling many times to harass you for results. Because of this, many CLSs generally dislike nurses not to mention RNs usually get paid more for knowing less than us. Anyways, I think if you are in the department you like, you probably will like your job.

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Bill33 in California

78 months ago

Of course if you're a generalist, meaning you do all departments, you get a bit of everything, and it keeps things fresh in your head. Unfortunately, generalists are usually needed on pm or graveyard shifts. If you want to work a day shift you may have to specialize in a particular department. Also, larger labs usually have specialists while small labs may require you to be a generalists and do everything.

Well, I think I wrote alot already but these are good questions you ask. It's good to know what you're getting into when you choose a career and most importantly, if you will like your job. I hope this has helped some.

If you do want to learn more, you can always read the advance magazine for lab professionals. It's probably the only magazine for MTs and other lab workers.

laboratorian.advanceweb.com/Default.aspx

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Angrywolf in Nashville, Tennessee

78 months ago

Well I have had what I consider a terrible career, a lot of terrible job situations and a lot of abusive bosses.My advice to you quite frankly is to do something else.I know that doesn't sound good but I strongly suggest you do something else.
If you are still young just get the ability to work part time, preferably in a reference type lab, stay away from hospitals at all cost, especially the small ones and try to get a Masters or even go for your doctorate degree.
Sorry to sound such a killjoy but if you go on to school and advance yourself away from being a technician/technologist you will be rewarded for it.

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

78 months ago

Thank you for your response and for the web site. You have been quite helpful. I really enjoy working with equipment. I used to work for a pharmaceutical laboratory, producing vaccines, and found it be very interesting work. I would pursue this line of work if I could avoid relocating my family. I plan to attend a job fair where I can speak one-on-one with people from several specialties. Thanks again for your reply.

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Ken Jones in Akron, Ohio

78 months ago

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.

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

78 months ago

I have to admit I've been a little discouraged by the lack of open lab positions here in south Florida. I don't understand how there can be so few job openings in a field so desperate for qualified people. I'm told there is plenty of work, but I don't see many openings, and I've seriously been reconsidering this career choice for this exact reason.

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Former in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

77 months ago

I was told the farther you are away from colleges that offer the programs, the better pay and opportunity...being a no-trad should not hurt you...have you considered relocating?

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

77 months ago

Former in Stevens Point, Wisconsin said: I was told the farther you are away from colleges that offer the programs, the better pay and opportunity...being a no-trad should not hurt you...have you considered relocating?

My husband has a great position with a local city, so moving is out of the question for now. What do you mean by no-trad? Considering that there are no colleges within 3-4 hours traveling distance from here offering courses for MT, MLT, or CLS, like you said, maybe there would be job openings due to fewer trained to work in labs?

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida said: I have to admit I've been a little discouraged by the lack of open lab positions here in south Florida. I don't understand how there can be so few job openings in a field so desperate for qualified people. I'm told there is plenty of work, but I don't see many openings, and I've seriously been reconsidering this career choice for this exact reason.

www.indeed.com/jobs?q=medical+technologist&l=lake+worth%2C+florida&radius=25

Have you actually tried looking? The internet is the best way to search. It took me 2 minutes to do a search on indeed and it picked up 6 pages of CLS positions within a 25 mile radius of Lake Worth, Florida. You can also try monster, careerbuilders, and hotjobs. In addition, you can find out every hospital near your area and go to their website. They will usually have a link for careers or employment and a list of any available CLS positions.

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

77 months ago

Thank you for pointing that out. Boy do I feel foolish. I was only searching the newspapers and going directly to a few local hospital websites, some of which ask you to come in for a list of openings. I am in my 30s and it has been quite some time since I have looked for a job. Thank you for the advice and the renewed hope in a future career as an MT here in south Florida.

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Angrywolf in Nashville, Tennessee

77 months ago

Labcorp seems to have jobs at some of their locations.I have a friend who works there for them SRLB. So you might want to go to their website and check. Good luck.

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Kathryn Murchie in Georgia

77 months ago

Angrywolf in Nashville, Tennessee said: Well I have had what I consider a terrible career, a lot of terrible job situations and a lot of abusive bosses.My advice to you quite frankly is to do something else.I know that doesn't sound good but I strongly suggest you do something else.
If you are still young just get the ability to work part time, preferably in a reference type lab, stay away from hospitals at all cost, especially the small ones and try to get a Masters or even go for your doctorate degree.
Sorry to sound such a killjoy but if you go on to school and advance yourself away from being a technician/technologist you will be rewarded for it.

Amen.

I went to school in Michigan and was educated well, but that education has essentially gone to waste here in Georgia. Most "MT"s here are certifications other than ASCP, and education is not really respected. The pay is dismal, as well, especially compared to nurses, most of whom have less education than we do. I tell everyone who wants to be an MT to go be a nurse or a PA-C. You get more respect for the education and more $$$.

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SRLB in Lake Worth, Florida

77 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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Joe in Tulsa, Oklahoma

77 months ago

I received my MT (ASCP) just over three years ago after completing my B.S. degree in microbiology and am now pursuing my specialty certification in microbiology. I have found that the best way to advance in this field is though a combination of involvement and specialization. Most employers use a clinical ladder system to provide advancement where medical technologists can qualify for levels 2 and 3 and receive additional pay differentials through a combination of experience, involvement and often specialty certification (usually through ASCP).

In any case, salaries are expected to increase. Most areas in the U.S. are experiencing significant shortages and having difficulties finding qualified laboratorians. Hospitals and other employers are going to have to offer higher salaries to entice back to the field those medical technologist that have moved onto other fields. Benefits and flexible hours are nice, but unfortunately "money makes the world go round." Our salaries are okay but when compared to other healthcare professionals with the same level of education or less it seems as though our pay is NOT commensurate with education. Especially compared to nurses which can make twice as much with half the educational requirements.

This aside, the job outlook is still great. As an MT/CLS you should be able to find employment fairly easily and pay is decent and improving. The field will have to become more of an employee's field as more of the baby boomer generation begins to enter retirement and the shortage worsens. To answer your question, I am satisfied with my career choice. Although compensation could be better, I find I enjoy using my aptitude for microbiology to improve patient outcomes. I would highly recommend this field as a career choice to anyone who is drawn to medical science. I have never found it boring or ordinary, especially if you remember that behind each specimen is a human being. Treat each specimen as if it were your own.

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

Kathryn Murchie in Georgia said: Amen.

I went to school in Michigan and was educated well, but that education has essentially gone to waste here in Georgia. Most "MT"s here are certifications other than ASCP, and education is not really respected. The pay is dismal, as well, especially compared to nurses, most of whom have less education than we do. I tell everyone who wants to be an MT to go be a nurse or a PA-C. You get more respect for the education and more $$$.

I guess things are different in different parts of the country. I can give you examples here in California. A radiology tech starts at $26 an hour after a 1.5 years associates, an LVN or licenced vocational nurse starts at $23 an hour after 1 year of private school, a respiratory tech's about $25 an hour after 2 years of associates, an RN with either an associates or with a bachelors starts about $30 an hour and goes upward from there.

Now RN salaries do go higher quickly especially with experience and depending on which department of the hospital you work at, going as high as $40 to almost $50 an hour. A CLS starts about $28 to $29 an hour here with a bachelors. The ranges are typically $29 to $40 an hour depending on experience. Per diem jobs with no benefits can easily hit $35 to $36 an hour with 2 years of experience. You also throw in the small differentials for pm shift, graveyard shift, or weekend shift on top of your base pay, and I would argue it is better pay than alot of allied healthcare fields and comparable to RN. CLSs here can have a full time and a per diem job easily hitting 80K or more a year if you don't mind working a bit more than full time.

Plus RNs have to deal with cleaning up after patients, taking blood from IVs, doctors telling them what to do, patients yelling them, etc. Why do you think there are so many RN jobs? Because no one wants to do it and this supply shortage forces hospitals to increase the salary to increase demand.

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to SRLB in Plover, Wisconsin

77 months ago

Oops, typo, I meant non-traditional student

Anyway, go for the MT, not the AS (MLT). You can start out by taking some of the pre-reqs; you have to have genetics, physiology, and at least microbiology (and you need the Biology foundation course for these). The MT program here encourages a minor in Chemistry.

Is there a college in your area where you can start taking these courses? And make sure any courses you take at the 2 year college level transfer into a BS program. Basically, an MT degree is like a biology degree with a year of 'pre-clinical' courses, and then you do your internship and the clinical courses: Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Diagnostic Microbiology (Parasitology and Mycology, too!), Hemostatis, Immunology, and a few more...

Immunology is very interesting; the tests, however, are not :)!

Diagnostic microbiology is like detective work. Fascinating.

Start taking the pre-reqs, and go from there. Were you working in a chemistry lab before? Biology and chemistry are two different animals. Same planet, different worlds.

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to SRLB in Plover, Wisconsin

77 months ago

PS!!!

The unhappiness you read about is not really the work, it is the way things are done in healthcare. Lots of doctors are unhappy campers right now, too. So, if you enjoy lab work, go for it...but, it is a production environment, you have to be fast and accurate.

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Julien in Orangeburg, South Carolina

76 months ago

I'm in my final year of college studying biochemistry. Im hoping to become a Medical Technologist but I have read a lot of these posts and am confused what my next course of action should be. Do I join a NAACLS approved program right after or do i get clinical experience by working in a hospital THEN take that exam or what? No one seems to be mentioning anything about the GRE so im guessing that isnt a requirement for the field..or is it?
Please your advice would be greatly appreciated.

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"Nightsaber", MT (ASCP) in Tulsa, Oklahoma

76 months ago

Julien in Orangeburg, South Carolina said: I'm in my final year of college studying biochemistry. Im hoping to become a Medical Technologist but I have read a lot of these posts and am confused what my next course of action should be. Do I join a NAACLS approved program right after or do i get clinical experience by working in a hospital THEN take that exam or what? No one seems to be mentioning anything about the GRE so im guessing that isnt a requirement for the field..or is it?
Please your advice would be greatly appreciated.

A NAACLS approved MT school that offers a balance of clinical experience and theory is best. Just working for a while before taking the exam seems like the easier route but in reality that route may take longer and experience alone is NOT enough to pass the MT (ASCP), you would need education regarding theory and technique as well as experience in every department. A co-worker of mine (an uncertified MLT) is trying to take this route for just the M (ASCP) (technologist in microbiology certification). She sat in on the clinical bacteriology, parasitology, and mycology classes that are intented for the MT students of our hospital based MT school a year or two ago (per the supervisor's approval). But she would have needed to put in a significant number of hours in clinical rotations as a student (off the clock) on top of her full time MLT job. She was unable to do this and it has been two years since she finished the lectures and so she is back at square one. If she had simply pursued MT school she would likely be a certified full MT by this point. A good school of MT/CLS will not only prepare you for the exam but make you a much better MT than would experience alone. Especially since experience alone mostly familiarizes you with the practical application of the science and use of instrumentation but does not necessarily teach very much of the theory that ASCP exams focus on. The GRE is not required.

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Julien in Orangeburg, South Carolina

76 months ago

It seems to me that most CLS/MT programs offer only first degrees(bachelor's). When i graduate next year with my B.S biochemistry degree, do i have to do another four years to be able to sit the examination to allow me to be a qualified medical technologist or are there master's programs i can enter once i graduate?

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"Nightsaber", MT (ASCP) in Tulsa, Oklahoma

76 months ago

Julien in Orangeburg, South Carolina said: It seems to me that most CLS/MT programs offer only first degrees(bachelor's). When i graduate next year with my B.S biochemistry degree, do i have to do another four years to be able to sit the examination to allow me to be a qualified medical technologist or are there master's programs i can enter once i graduate?

If you have taken all of the necessary prereqs for the degree in medical technology, then with most universities you can also get a bachelor's in medical technology. BUT, you don't need a bachelor's in medical technology to get into an MT school/program. Most programs or at least some have both a "4+1" option and a "3+1" option. The 4+1 is for those who have already obtained a degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, or a related field and if accepted would be using the program as just a post baccalaureate internship. The 3+1 option is for those in the med. tech. degree program, they use the internship as their senior year as well. Either way, students complete the same program and sit for a national certifying examination at the MT/CLS level. You usually receive about 30 credit hours upon completion. There is no difference between the two once students have graduated and passed their boards. Their is no Master's degree program, although, in my personal opinion it should require a BS and lead to a master's since most 4+1 students, on average, tend to do a little better or at least struggle a little less.

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Josh in Sulphur, Louisiana

76 months ago

Bill33 in California said: Well, the initials MLT generally refer to Medical lab technicians which is different from MT which refers to Medical technologists or CLS, clinical lab scientist, as is mostly used on the west coast.

As for a career as an MT, I am content with my choice. However, I just started working as an MT a few years ago so I have a long way to go.

It's easy to find a job as a technologist. There are always openings and frequently, many MTs have a full time job, and a part time job or per diem, or work overtime to make extra cash. Since labs are open 24/7 and as you said there is a shortage of MTs, we are in high demand.

They pay is ok. Being in CA, MTs/CLSs get paid starting close to $30 and with experience up to $45. I know other parts of the country I've seen the pay starting at $20 sometimes which I think is too low. It all depends mostly on the location.

Starting pay in south louisiana averages $14.00 way to low for cost of living

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Josh in Sulphur, Louisiana

76 months ago

Bill33 in California said: Well, the initials MLT generally refer to Medical lab technicians which is different from MT which refers to Medical technologists or CLS, clinical lab scientist, as is mostly used on the west coast.

As for a career as an MT, I am content with my choice. However, I just started working as an MT a few years ago so I have a long way to go.

It's easy to find a job as a technologist. There are always openings and frequently, many MTs have a full time job, and a part time job or per diem, or work overtime to make extra cash. Since labs are open 24/7 and as you said there is a shortage of MTs, we are in high demand.

They pay is ok. Being in CA, MTs/CLSs get paid starting close to $30 and with experience up to $45. I know other parts of the country I've seen the pay starting at $20 sometimes which I think is too low. It all depends mostly on the location.

The average starting pay in south louisiana is $14.00 way to low for cost of living

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Dana in Roanoke, Virginia

76 months ago

Starting pay here is $16.50 to $17.50 at the hospitals. BUT, the cost of living is a lot lower than most parts of the country. My school had a 3 + 1 program, so my year of Med Tech school went towards my Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences. 3 + 1 is definitely an appealing option, because you can get your Med Tech training and Bachelor's at the same time. I love working in the lab, and would definitely do it all over again if I had to. Also, remember that there are laboratories outside of the hospital. I work for a physician practice. It is actually a more complex lab than I would have expected out of a physician office! It does not pay quite as well as the hospital, BUT I do not work nights or weekends and have holidays off, which is well worth the cut in pay!

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ester in Kirkland, Washington

76 months ago

Thanks for the positive comments, Dana. I start my program (also a 3+1) soon and have been nervous since I hear so much negativity in these forums (and others).

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Art Vandelay

76 months ago

Dana,

I'm planning on entering a 3+1 program also. The program is 12 consecutive months, and 60 credits (20 per 3 semester). Was your program anything like this? I would like to know if this type of schedule is particularly more grueling than your average semesters.

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Shannon in New Orleans, Louisiana

75 months ago

Josh in Sulphur, Louisiana said: The average starting pay in south louisiana is $14.00 way to low for cost of living

$14.00 for what? MT or MLT? I thought that for MT it's about $20 an hour.

$14 an hour is not that low for the cost of living here anyway. For a starting pay that is not too bad, it should be enough to pay the bills.

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Prem Sharma in Gainesville, Florida

75 months ago

Please advise. I am a Ph.D. in Microbiology and recent MT (AMT) with one year of generalist experience. I am in Atlanta and have a full time research job. I wish to continue my involvement in a clinical laboratry but I am finding it very difficult to get a part time weekend job. I would appreciate if you could advise me in this matter. I am looking only in Atlanta area within a 1 h- 1:30 h drive.

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

75 months ago

Quest Diagnostics main lab in in Atlanta so you can check them out....with the economy being what it is I expect part time jobs to really dry up in the next few months...

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LARRY ROBINSON in Charleston, West Virginia

75 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

75 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

75 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

74 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

74 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

74 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

74 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

74 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

74 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

74 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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

73 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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