14Jun

Professional Profile: Medical Technologist (MT)

If you are interested in science and good at problem solving with close attention to detail, a career as a medical technologist (MT) may be right for you. Medical laboratory technologists collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue and other substances. They play a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

Medical technologists perform complex chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic and bacteriological analyses, such as:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine and tissue samples and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests simultaneously
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Medical technologists are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or in a science (e.g., chemistry or biology). Bachelor’s degree programs in medical technology include courses in chemistry, biological sciences, microbiology, mathematics and statistics as well as courses designed to teach knowledge and skills used in the clinical laboratory. Medical technology programs are typically offered through a university with internships in a hospital setting.

Employers seek laboratory personnel with good analytical judgment and the ability to work under pressure. Medical technologists in particular are expected to be good at problem solving. Close attention to detail is also essential for laboratory personnel because small differences or changes in test substances or numerical readouts can be crucial to a diagnosis. Manual dexterity and normal color vision are highly desirable, and with the widespread use of automated laboratory equipment, computer skills are important.

Is the role of MT right for you?

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