A medical technician is one who executes diagnostic tests to diagnose certain illnesses or diseases. They also supervise the treatment of the illness. Many medical technicians work in laboratories; therefore, they are not seen by the public. There are also medical technicians who perform dialysis or x-rays, CAT scans or MRIs. Some perform ultrasounds and others work for fire departments or ambulance companies to help patients become stable while on the way to the hospital. It is a good profession, but how do you become a medical technician exactly?
Before pursuing a job as a medical technician, individuals should make sure that the profession is right for them. Depending on the type of job, the average salary of a medical technician is about $50,000 per year. Individuals should start early in preparing for the career. It is wise to volunteer at hospitals so you can get the feel for working in the healthcare industry.
In order to become a medical technician, a person must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. The profession also requires that individuals be certified nationally. Some states require additional certification.
Individuals need to choose a college in which they can receive a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, life sciences or clinical laboratory. The degree must be at an accredited university or at a community college. Therefore, people need to research their options and choose the best college for them. While in college, students will have the opportunity to receive training where they can supervise in the form of “clinicals” at local hospitals and clinics. This degree take four years to complete and students will take classes in chemistry, biology, life sciences, microbiology, human physiology, math and statistics.
Many medical technicians also prefer to seek additional education to help their chances of getting a job. Some areas of expertise might include toxicology, virology, urinalysis, hematology and immunology.
After completion of the degree, national certification is next. Organizations, such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology or The American Medical Technologist, can provide certification. The National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel’s can also provide certification. When getting certified, the organization will give a test that will check for a person’s knowledge about things that a medical technician might be required to perform. Individuals should check the requirements in their state to make sure they get properly certified.
After meeting all of the requirements, an individual can then begin looking for jobs in the profession. There are sites online that can show a person where there are available jobs for a medical technician.