A medical technician is an individual who is trained in technical and scientific functions necessary to a laboratory or medical facility. The aging population found in many countries has created a heavier demand upon medical practitioners and the medical technicians’ education has made them increasingly important in the office setting as well. In fact, a medical technician may very well specialize in a particular field such as dialysis, in radiology or emergency medicine. Education is key to working in this interesting field.
Training to become a Medical Technician
To enter a program for medical technicians you will want to have, at a minimum, an associates degree and some medical experience. A four year bachelors degree is preferred, especially if you want to be a technologist as opposed to a technician. The training requires an extensive number of classes in biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology and so forth. Further, specialized classes are encouraged for students who wish to pursue a particular field of practice.
In addition to classroom hours students are expected to participate in internships and work training programs. These opportunities provide budding technicians with invaluable hands on experience. Certification in multiple areas is encouraged in order to increase the likelihood of finding a desirable position upon graduation.
Medical Technician Job Options:
Radiology or Ultrasound Techs – Technicians in this field operate a variety of imaging machines; CAT scans, MRIs, x-ray machines and ultrasound equipment. Good people skills are essential since you will be in constant close contact with people, some of whom are frightened or anxious. Additional specialization may allow the technician to work in an obstetric setting, and emergency room and so forth.
EMT – Working closely with fire departments or ambulance companies, emergency medical techs providing emergency care to the injured. The most common part of this job involves stabilizing injured individuals and transporting them to the hospital for additional care. EMT levels vary depending upon training and continuing education.
Lab Based Medical Technicians – A technician who works primarily in the lab will perform blood tests, evaluate body fluids and skin samples and carry out all other lab related services. Phlebotomy may be part of the job. Technicians in this field work with gas chromatographs, microscopes and other equipment so as to provide results in a timely and accurate fashion.
Salary and Outlook
A certified medical technician can expect a salary range of $25,000-$40,000 annually. Urban centers often provide higher salaries. The field is expected to grow at a higher than average rate through 2018.
Programs training medical technicians are common around the country and are often found at professional schools as well as medical universities.