This article contains information about how you can choose the best medical technician school to earn your degree. It features information about good quality medical technician schools worth your consideration. It also has information about accreditation, which is a critical factor in telling potential employers about the quality of your degree.
What Is a Medical Technician School?
A medical technician school is typically either a two year university where one can earn an associate’s degree medical technology or medical laboratory technology. This is often a community college or vocational college in your area, but some programs are available online.
The school will teach you some of the many different procedures and tests that healthcare professionals will order. It is your job to perform those medical and lab tests accurately so the patient can be provided with the best possible treatment.
Some of the skills and tasks that you will learn about in medical technician school are:
- Examining and analyzing tissues, body fluids and cells
- Identifying microorganisms that could be causing infections
- Analyzing body fluids and their chemical constituents
- Cross matching the blood of donors for blood transfusions
- Testing blood for levels of drugs to measure how effective treatments are
- Evaluating test results for accuracy to assist the healthcare professional
Medical technician school also will teach you how to collect, process and analyze human specimens; perform many laboratory procedures; maintain laboratory instruments; and determine accurate findings that are related to conditions and diseases.
Why Go to Medical Technician School?
Many professionals are gravitating toward the health care field as a whole; there will be more than 2.5 million new healthcare jobs created within the US in the next decade. In fact, healthcare jobs are poised to expand by an impressive 19% by 2024.
All types of healthcare services are needed because Americans have a longer lifespan than ever. Technology and medical tests are so much more advanced today that far more procedures and tests are being ordered by healthcare professionals. Some of these tests will be used to detect cancer and type 2 diabetes; these are very common health problems that occur in an aging population.
The greater number of healthcare services needed means more doctors and nurses are needed. And naturally, more medical technicians are needed on hand to perform the huge number of tests that doctors and nurses order for their patients.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor compiles jobs data in the US, and it states that there will be a healthy 18% increase in jobs for medical technicians. Medical laboratory technologists – who normally need a bachelor’s degree – will enjoy 14% increase in job demand.
Attending medical technician school also is a good potential fit for you if you have most of these characteristics:
- You like science: If you always loved physiology, anatomy, chemistry and biology in high school, you will probably enjoy working in medical testing labs.
- You like paying attention to detail: Medical technicians must very carefully do their jobs according to precise protocols. These involve compiling, categorizing, coding and calculating lab results to help patients get treatments they need.
- You enjoy patterns and repetition: A medical technician follows a precise series of steps in each medical lab test to make sure that the results are 100% accurate.
- You enjoy working behind the scenes: Medical technicians are comfortable working in the background; they will not usually have a high level of patient interaction.
- You like stability: Job demand is strong in this field. With steady job growth, you should be able to find as much work as you like.
The last reason to go to medical technician school is the salary. The median wage for this field with an associate’s degree is $38,900. This is a solid salary. The top 10% earn more than $60,000 per year.
If you decide to earn your bachelor’s degree later and become a medical laboratory technologist, you can earn a median wage of $61,070.
Online Degree Options
If you are interested in attending medical technician school, Rasmussen College offers a Medical Laboratory Technician Associate’s Degree at many of its campuses across the US.
You will study comprehensive classes that include blood banking, microbiology, hematology and clinical chemistry. It features hands on curriculum so that you will be able to have a great impact on the lives and health of patients.
This two year program will give you the skills and tools needed to do critical lab tests accurately that doctors need to make diagnoses of various illnesses and diseases. In addition, you will do a practicum at various clinical sites near the campus you are attending.
Your practicum will give you ample experience for your career in equipment and technology, safety standards, blood work and diagnostic testing.
You may graduate from this program in as little as 21 months and start working as a medical technician. Graduates from this degree program work at healthcare systems, hospitals, insurance companies, state and local government, pharmaceutical companies, public health offices and social services.
Your required coursework includes:
- Clinical Chemistry I
- Clinical Chemistry II
- Clinical Microbiology I
- Clinical Microbiology II
- Career Development
- Medical Terminology
- Computer Applications and Business Systems Concepts
After you have completed your associate’s degree at your medical technician school, you are required to pass your certification examination, which may be taken through these agencies:
- American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification
- American Medical Technologists
After you have worked as a medical technician with your associate’s degree, you may opt to earn your bachelor’s degree in this field. This is what is generally required for you to move into higher level positions, such as medical laboratory scientist or technologist.
It is important that a medical technician school have accreditation by a respected body in the field. This will assure you and your potential company that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective medical technician.
In this field, we recommend that you verify that the program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences or NAACLS.
Attending medical technician school for an associate’s degree is a solid career choice. If you love science and enjoy working in the background on medical testing procedures, you can anticipate a very good career with plenty of job availability and good pay.
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
- Rasmussen University. Is a Medical Laboratory Technician Career Right for You? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/medical-laboratory-technician-career-is-right-for-you/