I have a Bachelor degree in Biology and I'm interested in this field, but I have some questions

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Jo in Staten Island, New York

79 months ago

You don't need to be a Medical Technologist major. Since you already have a bachelors, all you need to do is do a residency at a NAACLS accredited program. To be eligible for a NAACLS program, visit their site and it should be outlined pretty clearly. I believe its 16 credits of Bio, 16 credits of Chem (Orgo included), and some other courses.

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Beth in Seattle, Washington

79 months ago

I was in the same position a few years ago. I got my certification as an MLT, took about 1.5 years of school. You have to work 2 years as an MLT then you can apply for the MT cert. There are some programs that offer the 1 year clinical training to go directly to an MT. Try www.ascp.org and www.nca-info.org

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enh in Rolling Meadows, Illinois

78 months ago

there is a program at evanston hospital for med techs. its not too far from you. Try enh.org.
or call the lab at evanston. I'm sure they would be thrilled to have another student. ENH is a 3 hospital org. Evanston, Highland Park and Glenbrook Hospitals. That's three potential employers when you finish.

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Nancy in Muskegon, Michigan

75 months ago

I have a bachelors degree in Biology and an associates degree in Medical Laboratory Technician, but the problem is that I haven't been working in the field for 20 years! I want to know how I can get recertified with ASCP and what classes are available, hopefully online, to help me pass the state test! Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

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ALex C in Sanford, North Carolina

75 months ago

Hello all, there are a few programs I have found that maybe helpful. University of Cinncinati and Winston Salem State Univ. The www.oedb.org may be helpful as well. The only other suggestions I can offer is to search NAACLS.org web and talk to the corresponding programs in your state. Bobby, I am afraid that most offer a second BS or a Grad or post bacc certificate. There are paid internships or maybe you can look at the NCA candidate handbook more closely and have them evaluate 'accepted' experience. Also ask them to define 'acceptable program'. This is what we had to do. I even went as far as talking to my place of work and finding out what it takes to be a NAACLS approved site. Nancy, I think you are ok with route 1&2 of NCA. Re check the ASCP req. If you have experience in the field in the last four years, or have been trained in the last five.....etc. It is convoluted. Our suggestion is to plan it on a sheet of paper, the terms used need further clarification. Call each agency and communicate your problem. They are willing to help. Remember, they do allow for all situations presented. DIG DEEPER!! www.osu.edu (oregon state univ) does offer online chemistry (organic/inorganic). Also there is a community college that offers some online science classes. www.southwesterncc.edu. Also www.gwu.edu has online post-bacc certs for gneralists as well as specialties. Look under School of Med and HS (www.gwumc.edu/healthsci/admissions/index.cfm) Good luck! Let us know if we can help.

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ALex in Sanford, North Carolina

75 months ago

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ALex in Sanford, North Carolina

75 months ago

Stephanie,

THe greatest quantifiable difference is that MLT/CLT performs basic to moderate level complexity and MT/CLS performs moderate to high complexity.

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Chad in Commerce, Texas

75 months ago

Jane in Elk Grove Village, Illinois said: I have a bachelor's degree in biology. My college had a med tech program, but unfortunately closed the program before I could enter it.

I worked in my family's business pizzeria/restaurant for awhile and now we sold it. I feel like I have to start over and I'm nervous, but this field has interested me. But, I'm having trouble finding colleges with these programs near me, not to mention the tuition some of these are costing.

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on what route to follow or type of certification I should get.
I'm still a little confued about the difference between a Medical technologists and technician. What's the difference and type of work like?

I've read that sometimes you can get experience at a hospital or certification, but I'm not sure.

I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you.

I earned my B.S. in biology this past spring and I am in the same position. I'm enrolling into a community college lab tech program. The head of the dept. said I will be able to challenge the ASCP to sit for the MT exam since I have the B.S. in a related field.

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james in Ballston Spa, New York

75 months ago

Chad in Commerce, Texas said: I earned my B.S. in biology this past spring and I am in the same position. I'm enrolling into a community college lab tech program. The head of the dept. said I will be able to challenge the ASCP to sit for the MT exam since I have the B.S. in a related field.

there's a hige difference between technician and technologist, they do the same work but the medical technologists get paid waaaaay more. i know a mlt whos worked for a hospital for lmost 30 years and is still just making a lil under 20 an hour, go for the MT so you wont have to deal with being at the top of your pay scale, the mlt i know went 8 years without a raise! have you thought about cytotechnology, if u already have your bs biology, its just 1 more extra year of school and they start even more than MTs

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Bill33 in California

75 months ago

I have a bachelors in Biology and then did a 2 year program to get my CLS degree. It's not worth just being a technician because they get paid half as much as the technologists while many times doing the same job. The only difference is the technicians cannot verify results since they don't have a license.

I started at $30 an hour and most of the technologists in the lab I work at who have worked there for 20+ years get $40 or more an hour.

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Sarah in Florence, South Carolina

75 months ago

Ditto to most everyone - if you have your bachelors, don't waste your time with a MLT program. MLT schools generally take two years and you graduate with an associates (makes the bachelor's kind of pointless). I graduated with a degree in microbiology and was able to get into a one year program. I don't get a degree for completing the year, I just get the opportunity to sit for the ASCP/NCA boards, which is sort of confusing for my family who doesn't understand why I'd work at a lab for a year to take a test.

If you want a little more time, you could also find a college that has MT as a major. You'll probably need to take two years to finish: one for classes and one in labs. You'll graduate with a bachelor's in Med Tech if you get your credits transferred in but that doesn't change your pay and really isn't worth it unless you don't think you can do it in a year.

I went with a one year lab program but you'd better 100% commit for that year you're in school because it has been the hardest year of my life. It's a ton of information and the drop-out/kicked-out rate is pretty high in most the programs I looked into. I really focused my search of MT schools and programs to the south and northeast so I can't really help you if you want to stay in illinois but if you're interested in moving to the east coast, I could point you in the direction of a couple programs

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Nora in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

75 months ago

I graduated from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) in '04 with a bachelors degree in Microbiolgy. I'm very interested in becoming a MT. Does anyone know of any 1 year programs in this area? University of Alabama, B'ham, offers a MT bachelors degree and it will take me 2years to complete the professional phase, if I'm unable to locate a 1 year program.

Sarah in Florence, South Carolina said: Ditto to most everyone - if you have your bachelors, don't waste your time with a MLT program. MLT schools generally take two years and you graduate with an associates (makes the bachelor's kind of pointless). I graduated with a degree in microbiology and was able to get into a one year program. I don't get a degree for completing the year, I just get the opportunity to sit for the ASCP/NCA boards, which is sort of confusing for my family who doesn't understand why I'd work at a lab for a year to take a test.

If you want a little more time, you could also find a college that has MT as a major. You'll probably need to take two years to finish: one for classes and one in labs. You'll graduate with a bachelor's in Med Tech if you get your credits transferred in but that doesn't change your pay and really isn't worth it unless you don't think you can do it in a year.

I went with a one year lab program but you'd better 100% commit for that year you're in school because it has been the hardest year of my life. It's a ton of information and the drop-out/kicked-out rate is pretty high in most the programs I looked into. I really focused my search of MT schools and programs to the south and northeast so I can't really help you if you want to stay in illinois but if you're interested in moving to the east coast, I could point you in the direction of a couple programs

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Ann in Rockford, Illinois

74 months ago

I recieved my associates of science degree from Mchenry County College. I also took some nursing classes the first year of a RN program but deceided that I only want to do clinical laboratory science. I have been working for several years in manufacturing. I am supporting a family the nearest school is about 70 miles away for the med clinical program. what should I do. can I just take the exam or do I need to take classes in clincal laboratory science?

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Former in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

74 months ago

You will have to get a degree---and the med tech classes are not for the faint of heart---you will also need a 6, 9 or 12 month UNPAID internship at a hospital --- and you also have to pay two semesters of tuition for this internship...now, if you already have say, a BS in biology or chemistry, you may be able to just take the pre-clinical classes, like hematology or clinical chemistry, diagnostic mycology, etcetera...but you still need that internship to get a job, and take the cert exam...I have heard that some lab s and hospitals are providing on the job training if you have enough biology and chemistry classes, or the BS in science, but I hve yet to find one....

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ibtisam in Brooklyn, New York

74 months ago

james in Ballston Spa, New York said: there's a hige difference between technician and technologist, they do the same work but the medical technologists get paid waaaaay more. i know a mlt whos worked for a hospital for lmost 30 years and is still just making a lil under 20 an hour, go for the MT so you wont have to deal with being at the top of your pay scale, the mlt i know went 8 years without a raise! have you thought about cytotechnology, if u already have your bs biology, its just 1 more extra year of school and they start even more than MTs

i am going complete my BS in biology next year.i am still confused .after the BS how many more years will i have to go to school for medical technologist.and if you know any schools that offer this degree do let me know.

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Alex in Charlotte, North Carolina

74 months ago

You all may find it beneficial to check out the post-bacc certificates at www.gwu.edu and also at the University of Cinncinati, and at Winston Salem State University. These are completly online and have NAACLS approval. Also www.oebd.org lists online and bricks and mortar places where you can get the training needed. It is worth it. Don't forget to check with your organization concerning which certification bodies (ASCP, NCA, AMT, AAB) they recognize for employment. Human resource contacts or the credentialing office should be helpful. Good Luck!

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Abdullah Mahmud in Charlotte, North Carolina

74 months ago

In order to get a good paying job at any laboratory, you will surely need to be certified by an agency such as ASCP or AMT. Such organizations typically require you to have either previous training in an approved pathological laboratory or have gone through an approved NAACLS medical technology program. I suggest you go to the websites for ASCP and AMT to find out more about such options. ASCP = American Society of Clinical pathology and AMT = American medical technologists.

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V.E. in Tervel, Bulgaria

74 months ago

I am Medical Doctor in Bulgaria, Europe.I have a Master Degree. I have been a Medical Microbiologist for 26 years in my country and I have licence for Bulgarian board of Microbiology. I am a permanent resident in the USA. How can I work as a Microbiologist in the USA? Are there any employers who are interested in my skills and experience?

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Alex in Charlotte, North Carolina

74 months ago

Yes of course. My advice would be to contact the American Council on Education (ACE). They are an agency under governmental license ( US Department of Eduation)that accredits or standardizes your 'foreign' degree. They also have a database of other agencies that can assist you in getting your credentials transfered. Also go to the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB), I think the website is: www.aab.org. In addition the other agencies like: 1) American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2) NCA, 3) and the American Medical Technologist (AMT) can be of assistance.

You may want to check out some of the colleges or univiversities in the US that have science programs, namely microbiology. They can 'sponsor' you to come to attend more academic programs and even offer you employment as a professor or associate professor. And don't forget the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) they offer alot of information, assistance, and even contractual employment for international professionals. I have worked for them before.

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niko in Asheville, North Carolina

74 months ago

I just started to think about going for my ASCP MT, but i'm pretty confused too.

OK, here goes. I have a BS in Biology/chemistry minor and have worked in a clinical lab for 6 years in 3 different departments, Immunology/Chemistry and Endocrinology. I have more seniority than my fellow co-workers and do more tests with more experience than all of the MTs in our department (not trying to sound snotty, but it is the truth). I work in the MT capacity in that i perform surveys QC's and verify results, proficiency, CLIA high complexity etc. etc. I am also shift supervisor. Our lab is a bit bass ackwards when it comes to this stuff. But, the next person down who is an MT has 3 years in our co. so i guess much is based on seniority.

i would be able to show 5+ years experience in a CAP cert lab as experience.

Will i need to apply for a MT program, or would i possibly be able to submit as having enough clinical experience to sit for the test? I don't have all the boxes checked (blood banking, etc.). I'm not sure how to go about it and where i would fit.

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??? niko in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

74 months ago

How were able to work in the lab without a med tech degree? or are you an MLT?

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Ed

74 months ago

How do I get started in this field. I have absolutely no experience in anything medical except a few months as a behavioral claims representative. Is this position similar to the CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) type lab work, or how I been watching too much tv?

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niko in Asheville, North Carolina

74 months ago

??? niko in Stevens Point, Wisconsin said: How were able to work in the lab without a med tech degree? or are you an MLT?

nope, neither. I guess i'm somewhere in between, but no certifications to speak of. The jobs are out there, but much more rare. In my lab we have 4 people with Life science B.S. degrees. We have MLT's, MT's and B.S. folk all working doing the same things, only variable is experience time which equates to how much you are capable and allowed to do.

At one point i was cross trained in everything we did in Immunology and Endocrinology, I thought that was pretty cool b/c i could go wherever they needed me. We aquired a new lab, and so now i'm tasked with taking on their stuff so there is always new stuff to learn, and everyday i am doing something different or new.

Well, i'm going to talk to HR and my lab director and see about the test. Just have to save up 200 bucks, which is hard when just having gas money is a challenge these days..

wish me luck.

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Sarah in Florence, South Carolina

74 months ago

Niko, I'm not entirely sure if you would qualify since you don't have experience in three of the four main clinical areas (blood bank, hematology, and microbiology). If you do qualify, it's going to be pretty tough to learn all the information necessary to pass the test without ever seeing those parts of the lab. I know South Carolina has an program that allows you to take classes online if a hospital will sponsor and train you in all the departments. It might be worth looking into if there's something similar in North Carolina.

Ed, there's a possibility of segueing into forensic science from medical technology, it is actually what I was looking to do. First, I wouldn't watch CSI as a glimpse into the life of a forensic scientist. When you get a position, you need to go to police training and then spend nearly a year being re-trained to apply all the info you learned in MT school to dead bodies and about blood splatter, etc. But you get a gun and a badge, so that's pretty sweet.

I'm honestly not sure what degree you have, Ed, but to become an MT you need a science based background/BS and to get enrolled in a 1-2 year program to gain the clinical education and experience OR you need to find a 4-year MT program and get enrolled in that. Then, you need to sit for a certifying exam (NCA or ASCP).

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good Luck, Niko! in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

73 months ago

and thank you very much for the heads up--I know a little about the CLIA requirements and the types of testing one can do if not certified (complexity and such) but just was not sure where the jobs would be (aside from a local blood bank...;)

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niko in Asheville, North Carolina

73 months ago

yeah, they are out there.

In fact, I have an interview for technical supervisor in two weeks. I'd be the supervisor of those three departments i mentioned. It's pretty scary for me, but it's just an awesome opportunity, and considering my background, pretty lucky too. I'd make about twice as much in salary...

WISH ME LUCK!!!

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Ann in Rockford, Illinois

73 months ago

what is your degree in? I just have an associates of science and have been stuck working in manufacturing. I want to work as a lab tech in the hospital
rcarriwill@yahoo.com

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GREAT Luck, Niko! in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

73 months ago

experience is what matters, you'll do fine ...:)

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Hope things went well, Niko! in Appleton, Wisconsin

73 months ago

This thread has been very informative; thank you to all who posted. I am interested in pursuing an MT career and I would like to know what my options are. I have a BS-Education degree...is there any hope that I'll be able to get into a certification program with that degree, or should I basically expect to go back to school for another four years to obtain a degree in a science-related discipline?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

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Are you in Appleton? in Plover, Wisconsin

73 months ago

There are programs in Madison, Oshkosh and Stevens Point. I don't think you will need another 4 years, but you do need the biology pre-req's before you can take the pre-clinial courses, then you have the option of a 6,9 or 12 month internship. I strongly urge you to contact the Health Science department at Stevens Point. Email Sue Raab directly. Their program is accredited and they have a 100% pass rate for the cert exam!

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Mary McKee

73 months ago

If you Google NAACLS you can find a clinical lab science program in your area. Look under the MT or CLS link (not mlt or clt). Then you can talk to the program director. There is a huge need for new MTs. As a lab manager, I can tell you most of my staff is over 50 years old. If you specialize in histology (tissue stuff), and you are really good, you can maximize your earning potential. There are many open positions for histotechs throughout the US.

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Jessica in Appleton, Wisconsin

73 months ago

Thank you both for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions. I'm off to do some research...thanks again!

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Ann in Rockford, Illinois

73 months ago

I looked up the histo tech requirements you need 12 credit hours in biology and chemistry with an associates of science degree with one year of clinical internship with a board certified pathologist or board certified scientist or doctor. this will make you elgible to take the histo tech exam. and they are in demand.

but for me I cant get the internship or 1 year of experience with a board certified doctor, scientist or histologist to be elgible to take the histotechnician exam.

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Ann williams in Greenwood, Indiana

73 months ago

I am in rockford Illinois

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amy in Los Angeles, California

70 months ago

Sarah in Florence, South Carolina said: Ditto to most everyone - if you have your bachelors, don't waste your time with a MLT program. MLT schools generally take two years and you graduate with an associates (makes the bachelor's kind of pointless). I graduated with a degree in microbiology and was able to get into a one year program. I don't get a degree for completing the year, I just get the opportunity to sit for the ASCP/NCA boards, which is sort of confusing for my family who doesn't understand why I'd work at a lab for a year to take a test.

If you want a little more time, you could also find a college that has MT as a major. You'll probably need to take two years to finish: one for classes and one in labs. You'll graduate with a bachelor's in Med Tech if you get your credits transferred in but that doesn't change your pay and really isn't worth it unless you don't think you can do it in a year.

I went with a one year lab program but you'd better 100% commit for that year you're in school because it has been the hardest year of my life. It's a ton of information and the drop-out/kicked-out rate is pretty high in most the programs I looked into. I really focused my search of MT schools and programs to the south and northeast so I can't really help you if you want to stay in illinois but if you're interested in moving to the east coast, I could point you in the direction of a couple programs

Hi, I've just recieved my bachelors in Biology and I want to become a CLS/MT. HOw do I go about that without having to get a 2nd B.S degree for CLS. Do hospitals offer programs? You said you went 1 year of lab program. Where can I find a place that offers that. I'm pretty new to this. Help! Thanks.

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amy in Los Angeles, California

70 months ago

Mary McKee said: If you Google NAACLS you can find a clinical lab science program in your area. Look under the MT or CLS link (not mlt or clt). Then you can talk to the program director. There is a huge need for new MTs. As a lab manager, I can tell you most of my staff is over 50 years old. If you specialize in histology (tissue stuff), and you are really good, you can maximize your earning potential. There are many open positions for histotechs throughout the US.

Hi Mary!

Are you saying that Histology technicians have a better salary than CLS/MTs? If so what is the average salary for Histology technicians compared to CLS/MTs?

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Saber in Detroit, Michigan

70 months ago

Amy look at the NAACLS website, you can find accredited schools there. If you already ahve ur B.S degree you prob have the prereqs to start at the professional phase. Its usually 2 years after you get in that you grad with a BSMT or BSCLS degree. First year is the cls courses, last year is clinicals, then you will be eligle to sit for the ASCP or NCA

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Niloo in Irvine, California

69 months ago

amy in Los Angeles, California said:

Hi Amy,

I recently moved to California and try to get ready for ASCP exam. I have a bachelor degree in Microbiology from back home and three years working experiences as a med tech in microbiology department in canada. I guess, i should apply for Microbiology ASCP in Clifornia only. What do you think? and i have no ideas about text book for Microbiology for ascp exam. I found the American Medical Academy for reviewing class program as well. Please, help me what i should do. I am so confused. I appreciate your help.

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Abdullah Mahmud in Charlotte, North Carolina

69 months ago

You need to download the ASCP Manual and look to make sure you match the criteria for what it takes to apply for this licensing exam. Here is the link:

www.ascp.org/FunctionalNavigation/certification/ProceduresforExaminationCertification.aspx

As for preparing for the exam, here is a useful link:

www.ascp.org/pdf/ExaminationContentGuidelinesM.aspx

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Niloo in Irvine, California

69 months ago

Hi,

Thank you so much for useful information.

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millhousecr in near columbus, Ohio

69 months ago

I am having sort of the same dilemma and I am in need of true advice.
I have an AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology, MLT(ASCP)--- worked as a tech for many years... went back to school and attained a BS in Organizational Mgmt.....no luck securing a Supervisory job, so I went BACK to school. This time online... got a MBA degree, then got an offer I couldn't turn down, and took a few more classes- yielding me a DUAL MBA with concentration in HR Management. Okay, now I don't have ANY experience because jobseekers want HR Mgr's to have 5-10 yrs. exp.... then again, I cannot be a Lab Supervisor, because I am told I am "just and MLT"...what can I do to overcome this scenario? BTW- I am working in a $40K job fulltime as an Account Clerk (bottom of the totem pole) and have a contingent job as that MLT working for $21 an hour. I have a daughter who is a senior in HS and will have a terrible time paying for her tuitiion as I am STILL paying for mine, with no salary to enhance it. HELP!!!

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blackhawk86 in Charlotte, North Carolina

69 months ago

Okay, this message is for the lady with a HS student who needs sincere advice to get a better job. If I'm understanding you correctly, you want to get certified as a CLS = certified laboratory scientist , otherwise referred to as an MT = Medical Technologist? yes, their salaries are much higher than technician salaries. From What I know, there are three main certifying agenices for MT:

1. AMT = American Medical Technologist www.amt1.com/

2. ASCP = American Society of Clinical Pathology www.ascp.org/

3. NCA = National Credentialing Agency www.nca-info.org/

Your best option , based on what I KNOW, is to go the ASCP route to get certifed as a Medical Technologist for three primary reasons:

1. you have a medical technician certificate from ASCP
2. ASCP is the best recognized medical certifiying agency in the USA
3. You will make a starting salary of atleast $45,000 with many options for advancement in your career. Here, check out this link from the Federal government. Look at the salary figures and you will know what I'm talking about:

www.bls.gov/oco/ocos096.htm

I hope you benefit from this information. you can contact me @
blackhawk86@gmail.com. Thank you

Abdullah Mahmud Mahmud

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John1104 in Buffalo, New York

69 months ago

Since you already have your MLT degree, you just need to probably do two more years for ur MT. Once you get that you can take the ASCP or NCA. AMT is worthless, especially for management. Then you are ELIGIBLE TO BE A MANAGER. You have to have someone train you, most managers start as department supervisors, then move to lab managers. Its a step by step process. Your best bet is go back to school, the material will be reenforeed and you will have a good shot to pass the ASCP or NCA the first time around.

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Abdullah Mahmud in Charlotte, North Carolina

69 months ago

On page 6 of the ASCP Certification Handbook, which can be downloaded from the following link:

www.ascp.org/FunctionalNavigation/certification/ProceduresforExaminationCertification.aspx

this is what is written:

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 a CAP/The Joint Commission
(JCAHO)/AABB accredited laboratory within the last ten years. At
least one year must be under the supervision of a pathologist
(certified by the American Board of Pathology) or an appropriately
board certified medical scientist and a certified medical
technologist

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millhousecr in Columbus, Ohio

69 months ago

Well, I already have 4 degrees and student loans that are really expensive. so the thought of going back to school for something I already know seems redundant. I was just hoping for more along the lines of online schools to bridge from MLT to MT......
Thanks for your reply though.

John1104 in Buffalo, New York said: Since you already have your MLT degree, you just need to probably do two more years for ur MT. Once you get that you can take the ASCP or NCA. AMT is worthless, especially for management. Then you are ELIGIBLE TO BE A MANAGER. You have to have someone train you, most managers start as department supervisors, then move to lab managers. Its a step by step process. Your best bet is go back to school, the material will be reenforeed and you will have a good shot to pass the ASCP or NCA the first time around.

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Niloo in Irvine, California

69 months ago

Is there any body here that came from overseas and apply for California Licensure only. If so, could you please help me to decide which way i should go.

thanks

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Stuckinarut in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

68 months ago

I have been working at a pharmaceutical company for almost a year now, just a recent graduate (B.S. in microbiology) and was hired in to be a microbiologist, and now I am performing basic environmental monitoring stuff, not what I hired in for. Which is completely aggrevating!! Please help me out?

I have experience reading SOPs (protocol), none whatsoever performing tests in a professional lab atmosphere, just tons of experience sampling. I performed 3 years of research for the University prior to my current job, none relative to Med Tech, however. Is there a crash course to sign up for to train on the actual testing, or is it all lectures and lab combined? Should I expect another two years of school? I would find it extremely useful to utilize lab work only, as I have fulfilled my bio, chem, and other science requirements.

If I could sign up for an internship, where would I even start to look?

I was wondering, is it better to be a CLS through NCA, or is it better to be ASCP certified?

What path is the quickest towards becoming a histotechnologist after getting a basic ASCP or NCA certification? Another two years of school / internship?

Why is the dropout rate so high? Are people jerks in the field or something? or is it just too stressful?

I really appreciate this website it has been completely beneficial in understanding how many people undergo this process, I hope I don't become another statistic in the dropout phase!

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Andrea MT(ASCP) in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

Stuckinarut - A good place to start looking for a program is the NAACLS website, www.naacls.org, on the right there is a tab for "find a certified program" you can choose, cls/mt for med tech and enter where you like to study and it will provide the programs. Now, not all programs have easily acessible websites, but they do have phone numbers. Most program directors are very willing to talk to prospective students on the phone or through email. This is how I found my program. You should expect to go for a year of clinical training since you already have your bachelor's degree.

It is a very stresful program, but totally worth it! This is why I found it stressful - you are required to be in the lab for 40 hours/week (normally 6am-2pm) and "work" on the bench most of it. Because you aren't licensed you can't really do "work" but the techs make you do a lot of crappy work. You do get the training you need and I have to say the every day task of being on the bench really does help when you get thrown into the workforce. But while you are a student it sucks! No pay, no respect, and you are exhasted (but this is what being a student anywhere is like). The techs attitudes are variable, they can be great or down right nasty. Most of them don't want to teach you but they don't have a choice (at least that's how they feel). But if you show a willing to help them with the work they have to do, they open up to showing you more.

Some programs are structured differently on how they do lectures/bench work. We did bench rotations from 6am - 11am, 1 hours lecture, lunch then back to the bench. And you will rotate through all the departments. For example, 3 months in Micro, 3 in Hematology, 2 months in chemistry, 2 in blood banking, and then there is learning phlebotomy and now the new molecular testing. There is a lot to learn and I tell you with the economy now it was great to get out to have lots of job choices.

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Crystal in Mooresville, North Carolina

67 months ago

I am thinking of going back to school to enter the medical field. I have a BA in Biology, minor in psychology, an 16 hours of chemistry. I worked in a QA laboratory in an industrial chemical plant in the late 80's early 90's for about four years. I performed all types of lab work. (Including Gas Chromatography-Infra Spectroscopy-general analyses) I have been in real estate sales for 16 years. Does anyone have any suggestions in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Are the cytotechnology degrees offered, would a nursing degree be hard to obtain? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Crystal

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LibTechn in Boise, Idaho

67 months ago

Come to Idaho! ISU has a bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. It is only an additional year if you already have a bachelor's degree in science (bio, chem, micro, biochem, etc.). An additional year of courses, a summer of rotations and then you take the exam. Great option for a secondary bachelors and they split the program so half of the students are attending here in Boise, ISU-Boise campus, and the other half are at the campus in Pocatello. There is even an online option. Cheap tuition too.

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