How exactly can i become a Medical Technologist

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Dimitriy in Brooklyn, New York

110 months ago

Hello guys, Here is my situation:

I am 24 years old, i have a B.S in Biology and a M.S in medical Microbiology both from LIU-Brooklyn campus. What do i need to do right now to be a MT?

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Ozioma in Inglewood, California

90 months ago

Hello Debbie from New Jersey,
Please further expanciate on your advice to Dimitry. I am in a similar condition as him and I am pondering on which way to go. I have a bachelors and I am trying to gain acceptance into an internship program.
thanks
Ozioma.

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Sol in Broomfield, Colorado

86 months ago

I am being thinking about being a Medical technologist, but I don't know...I am 25 years old and I had never go to College. I am kind worry that I will make a mistake and that will cost me my job that's why I am really worried. A lit bit help will be great. thank you. :) ;) I really want to do something with my life. I have been through a lot hard things in my life. Also, I am a really shy person, super shy. :(

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Angrywolf in Harrison, Tennessee

86 months ago

Sol in Broomfield, Colorado said: I am being thinking about being a Medical technologist, but I don't know...I am 25 years old and I had never go to College. I am kind worry that I will make a mistake and that will cost me my job that's why I am really worried. A lit bit help will be great. thank you. :) ;) I really want to do something with my life. I have been through a lot hard things in my life. Also, I am a really shy person, super shy. :(

What kind of gpa did you have in high school ?

Do you have good credit/a low level of debt ? Are you in good standing with yuor creditors ?

Those are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself.

Do you like science ?

etc etc.

Being a tech is very stressful. If you are shy you might be run over by others.

If you want to try this you would want to try to get your BS MT (ASCP)as opposed to being anything else.
Although I feel you should consider pharmacy school if your grades are good enough and you can get financial aid.

Good luck

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Carrie in Park Hills, Missouri

86 months ago

Hello, I want to get a bachelors in medical technology. Does it matter to employers which school you graduate from and your grades? Or do they just look for certification and experience? I want to work in a career that involves animals. Ive seen a medical technologist position open at a lab in San Diego zoo. Is that the norm or is that rare? Does anyone know if they get paid less? What other careers involve animals as a medical technologist other than working in a veterinary diagnostic lab? Do colleges really help you find a job after you graduate? Also, does anyone actually enjoy this job, any fun involved, or is it just a steady, tolerable job? Do you have to have really good manual dexterity in your hands? I definitely don't, will that be a problem? Is there a lot of sitting or standing in this job? How closely do you work with other people in the lab? Can you move up to a management position? What position makes the most money? What do you wear to work?

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Shablee in SLC, Utah

84 months ago

Does anyone know if I would have to start over to go from an associate RN to become a medical technologist. I am burned out from long shifts, no breaks, demanding patients who can get nurses fired in a minute. I just cant take the patient care and administration lack of support anymore. I am seriously looking into a job change and medical technologist is the first thing that comes to mind. Pharmacist is the next thing that comes to mind...but I was not good at chemistry! Any ideas would be appreciated. BTW..im in my 40's so alot more schooling doesn't really appeal to me.

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20 years in Miami Beach, Florida

84 months ago

Shablee in SLC, Utah said: Does anyone know if I would have to start over to go from an associate RN to become a medical technologist. I am burned out from long shifts, no breaks, demanding patients who can get nurses fired in a minute. I just cant take the patient care and administration lack of support anymore. I am seriously looking into a job change and medical technologist is the first thing that comes to mind. Pharmacist is the next thing that comes to mind...but I was not good at chemistry! Any ideas would be appreciated. BTW..im in my 40's so alot more schooling doesn't really appeal to me.

I would not recommend it since I hear the same horrible things from my retail pharmacist friends. I worked hospital but it's almost as bad but a lot lower pay than retail. Have you read the other pharmacist forum? It's not greener on the pharmacy side too.

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Joni in Winnipeg, Manitoba

73 months ago

Jo in Salinas, California said: Hey. Did you ever get your questions answered? And are u still interested in doing the MT?

I want those questions answered.. please :)

Also, I am in 2nd yr BN nursing and I'm having difficulties in the faculty already.. mostly because of working with patients and clients since I'm very shy and an introvert. Would MT be the best for me too?? :|

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Nicole in Scottsdale, Arizona

73 months ago

I was wondering is this field saturated? I have been researching all other medical fields like radiology, nursing, respiratory therapy, surgical technology, physical therapy assistant, medical coding and they're all saturated. Every year there are more and more students going to school to enter these programs and there's a lot of graduates without jobs. Is it the same thing with medical technology? How hard is it to get a full time job after you graduate? Will employers want atleast two years of experience? In the other health care professions they all want atleast two years of experience and a lot of graduates haven't gotten a job since they graduated. It is very important to me that I can get a job soon after I graduate from school.

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Jo in Cupertino, California

73 months ago

you aren't going to get any answers fromthis site. I never got any. the only people that can answer your questions are those that hire MTs, look up job openings and see what their requirements are. call the places up, answers aren't going to come to you, usually. I try to alk to people that work in the field I want to study. real helpful.

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crane38 in Flushing, New York

73 months ago

I have a BA in psych, but I see a certificate program around where I live and I can take the license exam afterwards. You guys think I can get a job with that? Or would I have to go back to school to get that bachelor's in MT? Thanks.

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Liberty G.

69 months ago

I've just found this ongoing post and thought I would put in my two cents. First - a BS in MT is not easy. So for the nurse thinking of just switching over and not being really into school - probably not a good idea. As for job opportunities - yes there are many. We are facing a massive staff shortage. Many of the MTs in the workforce are at or nearing retirement age. Unfortunately many of the schools that once offered MT programs no longer do. Plus (and I hate sounding like my parents) young people in America today are pretty dumb when it comes to science. They want easier degrees like English, teaching, social work, and even biology. Biology is a stepping stone degree. In the real world it does diddly. Most young people see the course load for a MT degree and opt for something easier. Which is why we are getting a lot of people with BS degrees in alternate sciences who intern and take the exam. While I am happy that we are finding new employees, I think we are getting a poorer quality of tech. They have virtually no medical experience or background knowledge of laboratory medicine. Most of what they learn is only what they experience or encounter in their internship. That is usually significantly more limited than what you learn in the courses. Many employers do have a preference for hiring those with MT/CLS degrees. They are guaranteed that new hires have had the background education as generalists in all areas.

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crane38 in College Point, New York

69 months ago

A medical technologist advised that I not go into this field, because technology will eventually take over many jobs. How do you feel about this?

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whiskeyslick in California

69 months ago

Liberty G. said: I've just found this ongoing post and thought I would put in my two cents. First - a BS in MT is not easy. So for the nurse thinking of just switching over and not being really into school - probably not a good idea. As for job opportunities - yes there are many. We are facing a massive staff shortage. Many of the MTs in the workforce are at or nearing retirement age. Unfortunately many of the schools that once offered MT programs no longer do. Plus (and I hate sounding like my parents) young people in America today are pretty dumb when it comes to science. They want easier degrees like English, teaching, social work, and even biology. Biology is a stepping stone degree. In the real world it does diddly. Most young people see the course load for a MT degree and opt for something easier. Which is why we are getting a lot of people with BS degrees in alternate sciences who intern and take the exam. While I am happy that we are finding new employees, I think we are getting a poorer quality of tech. They have virtually no medical experience or background knowledge of laboratory medicine. Most of what they learn is only what they experience or encounter in their internship. That is usually significantly more limited than what you learn in the courses. Many employers do have a preference for hiring those with MT/CLS degrees. They are guaranteed that new hires have had the background education as generalists in all areas.

Well said!

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Liberty G. in Tulsa, Oklahoma

69 months ago

I think that comment is kind of ridiculous. Its like saying that since we have automatic blood pressure machines and digital thermometers that nurses aids will not be as needed. A tech cannot be replaced. There will always be manual testing to be done. Yes, machines can give us numbers and results but humans must always be there to screen those results, look into suspicious or problem results. Blood gases, microscopics, osmolalities, ketones and many more take more than a machine or even a button pushing idiot to run, interpret and report. Microbiology is one of those departments where it is nearly impossible to replace people with machines, even more so than chemistry or hematology. While there are automated blood bank analyzers, the majority of the work is and must be done by lab techs. It is interesting work and pays fairly well.

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SurfLab in Gainesville, Florida

69 months ago

Shablee in SLC, Utah said: Does anyone know if I would have to start over to go from an associate RN to become a medical technologist. I am burned out from long shifts, no breaks, demanding patients who can get nurses fired in a minute. I just cant take the patient care and administration lack of support anymore. I am seriously looking into a job change and medical technologist is the first thing that comes to mind. Pharmacist is the next thing that comes to mind...but I was not good at chemistry! Any ideas would be appreciated. BTW..im in my 40's so alot more schooling doesn't really appeal to me.

If you are not good at chemistry how do you expect to become a Medical Technologist??? You need Chem 1 and 2, Organic Chem 1 and 2 as pre req to enter a Medical Laboratory Science program. Is so funny to me to read some of the post in here. Get your information first before you post. A degree in Medical Lab Science is very similar to a Pre med route.

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PS in Hillsborough, New Jersey

68 months ago

I have masters in Biomedical Sciences from NJ. Also I have worked in pharmaceutical research and development. I have a lot of molecular and cellular experience. I am interested in Medical Technologist program. I have already applied in the one year internship program. Please people already working in this field suggest me about moving into MT as well as growing in this career. Is Entry level MT pay scale between 50K and 60K in NJ...?

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kgaugelo in Pretoria, South Africa

64 months ago

I think to be a medical technologist you have to be a good student in both life and physical sciences.i am in grade 10 and i am doing physical science,life science and i am doing chemistry as well as pure maths.i also want to become a medical technolgist but i fear because some people give very scary comments on being a M.D,so i might as well change my career because believe me i don't want to work as a person who alwys looks busy,having a lot of dead lines and all that because then i wont be enjoying my career.

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Bdouglas8 in Westerville, Ohio

63 months ago

From the ascp.org website:
To be eligible for this examination category, an applicant must satisfy the requirements of at least one of the following routes:
Route 1: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university including courses in biological science, chemistry and mathematics AND successful completion of a NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Science program within the last 5 years; OR
Route 2: MLT(ASCP) certification AND a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester (one quarter) of mathematics, AND two years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunology and Clinical Microscopy in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last ten years; OR

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Bdouglas8 in Westerville, Ohio

63 months ago

Route 3: CLA(ASCP)** certification, AND a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester (one quarter) of mathematics, AND four years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunology and Clinical Microscopy in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last ten years; OR

Route 4: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester (one quarter) of mathematics, AND five years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunology and Clinical Microscopy in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last ten years.

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Bdouglas8 in Westerville, Ohio

63 months ago

I have been a MT/MLS for about 4 years. It can be a stressful job but there is a shortage, so the biggest appeal to me was the stability. A MT can pretty much count on always finding a job easily.

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angelfish in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

62 months ago

I got my CNA with the thought of becoming an RN one day, well now, I have a BS in Networking and I really want to get back into the medical field, I'm working one step below software engineers working my way up and like the technical aspectm however it doesn't pay nearly as well as the medical field, recently I've had the idea of becoming an engineer by day and medical transcriptionist by night hopefully doubling my income, any advice of other options out there for me is much appreciated!! Thanks

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kbrown in Houston, Texas

61 months ago

I am accepted into a Clinical Lab Science program that starts next fall. It is a two year full time program that awards BS in CLS. I already have a Bachelor's in Business and want to be a Technologist so I'm returning to school. I want to know how hard it would be for me to find employment if I were to pursue Categorical Certification in blood bank or microbiology instead of the BS. I am most interested in those parts of the lab. Is it difficult to find a job with a Categorical Certification only such as BB(ASCP) or M(ASCP)? If I were to go the Categorical Certification route it is only 1 year to complete versus 2 years for the BS. Anyone with a Categorical Certification that may have some experience or know someone that is please respond.
thanks

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medtech13 in North Carolina

54 months ago

I know there's a few different routes to becoming a med tech, but I only know the one I took which was 2 years of prereqs and then 2 years of actual Med tech classes and labs. The second year was mostly at your clinical rotations in your assigned hospital. I will share my input on what it's been like so far. First, it's a hospital so there's several different shifts to work for, and you may not get the one you want right when you graduate. The job opportunities are really good. For example, at the hospital I'm doing my internship at, 5 people have retired within the past year and they've already hired 2 new people, and they've told me they have a spot for me and my other classmate doing her rotation at the same hospital when we graduate if we want it. I would recommend this major to anyone interested in doing hands on work and who likes science. Depending on what department you're working in will depend on whether you're standing or sitting.
Micro and Blood bank are mainly sitting departments, but chem and hematology are standing and walking around a lot. Also depending on how big the hospital is, you may work in one department or you may rotate around several departments. The pay is good and if you work odd shifts or weekends or holidays most hospitals will pay you a differential in addition to your hourly wage.
You don't get any patient interaction, but that doesn't mean you don't get any interaction with people. You still have to talk to doctors and nurses and even pharmacists, especially if you're working at a smaller hospital.
There's always the stress of making mistakes and trying to get your work done on time, and the workload can get fast paced once in a while, but I think many other jobs are like that. And even though you don't go out of the lab much, the techs grow to know each other and form a little community.
Lastly, I want to say that the med tech program is not easy. It's difficult, but if it's really what you want to do you can get through it

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tfarnon in Sparks, Nevada

53 months ago

If you want a challenging degree program (I already had degrees in biology and chemistry when I applied to my MT/CLS/MLS program), and a job that at least starts out challenging, I'd say that MT/CLS/MLS is a good choice.

As far as school goes, the coursework demanded more study than anything I've done. I was in classes (lecture and lab) all day Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 4:30, plus half a day on Friday. I'd walk home, make supper, eat and hit the books until about 9:30, then relax for about an hour and go to bed. I also studied about 8 hours every weekend. I had no social life to speak of. I was okay with that, and I didn't begrudge the time because I was paying for the degree myself. I didn't want to waste a penny of my investment.

Be aware, though, that you had better really like science to do this degree program, because it's very nearly all science. All that cell biology and pathophysiology and pharmacology and organic chemistry you took for your nursing program and thought you would never need? Surprise! You will need it all and then some.

I've been at my first CLS/MT job for three weeks now, and by the end of each day and the end of each week, I reach the point where I couldn't take in another piece of information no matter how much I wanted to or how much I tried. Then I get up and do it all over again. I'm in the blood bank at a large hospital.

I'm not averse to things being difficult mentally or physically, so even though I "hit the wall" more than I ever expected I would, I'm okay with that. I don't know how I'll feel about the job a year from now, or ten years from now, but right now I'm enjoying it. I think the starting pay is good, too--$25 to $27 per hour plus benefits.

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Abdulla in Azerbaijan

50 months ago

Hello. I want ask you about me. I am graduated from Azerbaijan Medical University (5 years program) as Laboratory Physician. I have permanent resident card. I will move USafter 4 months. I want continue my job in US too. So I have to get certificate from ASCP. But which one? Medical technologist or medical techinican? and pls write me another options about continue education.

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rogansmitt in Wintalk, Florida

50 months ago

Here is my opinion about Medical Technology, Nursing, and Pharmacy (The three biggest field talked about in this forum). I spent a semester in the BSN Rn program, a year working in the lab, and a year working as a pharmacy tech. in retail (I bounced around a lot because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do). I got to witness and work beside CLS's (the proper name for med techs), pharmacists, and med-surg/ICU/ER Rn's.

My personality type is introvert and I am usually labeled as the "book smart" person. I have had straight A's throughout high school and college and I generally love science and biology. This is just my honest opinion about the professions, yours will probably differ greatly from mine.

Nursing- I hated nursing. I felt degraded and betrayed continually at work. I spent a year working as a carpenter with convicted felons that I felt safer around then the b*****'s in nursing. Being a guy, I continually felt attacked and was often thought of as gay (EVEN THOUGH MY WIFE WAS IN MY CLASSES AND CLINICAL). Nursing was publicly humilating and it was probably the most hostile place I have ever worked. "Nurses eat their young" was the mantra that they proudly recited, its nothing to be proud of.

Pharmacy- I didn't really mind pharmacy. It just never really got my interest. It seemed to be a factory kind of work (Pt's come in and pick up medicines and drop off scripts). Occasionally we caught some wrong orders by doctors but all drug interactions were done for you by a computer program. The pharmacist really spent more time dealing with insurance then actual drugs. He also spent a significant time explaining side effects over and over to patients. (I have heard hospital is quite different though).

CLS (lab)-No patient contact and even though it is mostly female, the hostility is considerably lower. They get paid comparable to nursing (a little less) but I don't mind being at work. Lots of critical thinking/ troubleshooting.

(Cont. in following post).

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ANDYCANDY in New York, New York

36 months ago

MT ASCP certified just got a full time position in blood bank 23 years old no experience just rotations but it's all about who you know at the end of the day not what you know so interact during rotations. going to keep going to school but still think this is the best degree to go for med school you see all disciplines meet a lot of doctors nurses and scientists, good degree to start in but just don't get comfortable with this job and in life overall keep challenging and improving yourself.

MT ascp gets paid pretty good blood bank has couple dollars differential plus I'll be working evenings so that's another differential. Yes you can't make mistakes that's why your a technologist it's a big responsibility but if your trained well you will be fine.

It's not easy, a lot of time dedication but it's interesting stuff don't let anyone discourage you plenty of jobs but don't get stuck. I'll get experience apply as a lead tech one day pick up a per diem and I should be fine. Many options be positive don't let these older techs discourage you.

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MedTech Scientist in Fayetteville, Arkansas

27 months ago

Sol in Broomfield, Colorado said: I am being thinking about being a Medical technologist, but I don't know...I am 25 years old and I had never go to College . I am kind worry that I will make a mistake and that will cost me my job that's why I am really worried. A lit bit help will be great. thank you. :) ;) I really want to do something with my life. I have been through a lot hard things in my life. Also, I am a really shy person, super shy. :(

Being shy in medical laboratory science/medical technology is ok, however it is imperative that you can communicate to your co-workers. MLS is a great career if you have a strong science background and you are able to retain information; such as analyze and identify different blood cells, blood cell anomalies, urine cast, crystals, bacteria, etc. This career field is for individuals who enjoy problem solving and critical thinking. If you do seek to pursue a career, try to get the Perkins loan. You school loan can then be paid off over 5 years for working as a medical technologist.

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