Do you want to learn about careers for a medical technology major? If you are interested in working in a clinical medical laboratory, performing analysis and diagnostic functions, pursing a degree in medical technology might be the right option for you. While having a degree in medical technology is not mandatory to be considered for employment in a clinical medical lab, it is an excellent way to get the skills and credentials necessary to hold a job in this type of environment.
Working as a Medical Technologist
Professional medical technologists are usually employed in a clinical medical laboratory setting. They are responsible for performing scientific lab analysis procedures for the purposes of determining if diseases are present or absent, and providing information that allows for a correct diagnosis to be made.
Medical technologists may be involved in collecting analyzing blood, tissue, urine and other types of samples. To do this, they must know how to use microscopes and other types of medical laboratory equipment with a high degree of expertise. Working with chemicals is also required for some of the testing procedures that individuals who work in this profession must perform.
Computer skills are also essential in this profession. Medical technologists often use complex computer programs to run diagnostic procedures. Additionally, much modern medical lab equipment is computerized. Computers are also used to create reports that provide information about the results of medical lab tests to physicians, coroners and others who rely on the information.
In addition to being able to work with samples and equipment, medical technologists must also have strong critical analysis skills that allow them to make informed, scientific decisions about what they observe. Because their work literally has life and death consequences for patients, Medical Technologists must be committed to complete accuracy. Having the abilities to pay attention to detail and to follow scientific procedures precisely are keys to success in this occupation.
Facts About Careers for a Medical Technology Major
As with most medical professions, the employment outlook is excellent for people who have degrees in medical technology. As the field of medical technology continues to advance and new diagnostic procedures are developed, available careers for a medical technology major can only be expected to increase.
Qualifications for Employment
Individuals who perform analysis and diagnostic functions in clinical medical labs typically must have either a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology, biology, chemistry, statistics or a related field. In some states, it is also necessary for Medical Technologists to pass a professional certification exam in order to become credentialed to work in this field.
Lab technicians, who assist medical technologists with clinical functions, may be considered for employment with an Associate degree or postsecondary certificate in an allied health science field. In rare circumstances, some people who do not have formal training are able to step up to a lab technician position after working as a lab assistant and gaining hands-on training in the workplace that allows them to perform higher level work.
There are opportunities for medical technology majors to work in hospitals, independent clinical medical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, medical research centers and more.
Is Medical Technology the Right Field for You?
If you enjoy science, have the ability and patience to perform intense laboratory procedures, and want to work in the medical profession in a role that doesn't require constant contact with patients, seeking a degree in medical technology might be the right healthcare career preparation option for you. If, however, you would prefer a position that allows for a great deal of direct patient contact and regular interpersonal interactions with co-workers, a different career in the healthcare field might be a better choice.