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The Medical Technologist performs a full range of laboratory tests – from simple pre-marital blood tests, to more complex tests to uncover diseases such as AIDS, diabetes and cancer. Microbiology – encompasses the culturing of body specimens to determine if someone is infected with a microorganism. Urinalysis – encompasses the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. Immunology – testing is utilized to determine the immunity of an individual based on the principles of antibodies and antigens reactions. Blood Bank – encompasses the analysis of blood to determine the blood type and Rh, and the type of antibodies that are present, and to test and issue blood products for transfusions. The national average salary for Medical Technologists is approximately $41,600 – $50,000 per year although salaries vary by area of the country.
To be sure that laboratory workers are competent and able to perform high quality laboratory tests, the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology gives a national certification exam.
Medical Technologists may advance to supervisory positions in laboratory work or may become chief technologists or laboratory managers in hospitals.
All Medical Technologists are problem-solvers, like challenges and embrace responsibilities. In the United States, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA ’88) define the level of qualification required to perform tests of various complexity.

The Medical Technologist is also responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results and reporting laboratory findings to the pathologist and other doctors.
They monitor, screen, and troubleshoot analytical devices including calibration, quality control, run-by-run assessment, statistical control of observed data, and recording normal operations.
Once grown, those microorganisms are analyzed chemically and microscopically for identification to determine the best course of treatment.
It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine. Commonly performed tests include: glucose, electrolytes, cholesterol, calcium, protein, different enzymes and hormones, urine drug screens, HIV, hepatitis, therapeutic drugs, and so forth. Common tests performed in the department include hemoglobin and hematocrit, Total WBC, RBC, and Platelet counts, WBC differentials. Commonly performed tests are RPR for Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, Ova and parasites, RSV, Flu A & B, and MMR. When passed, Medical Technologists may use the initials, MLS (ASCP), after their name to show that are proficient in their field. They are accurate, reliable, work well under pressure and are able to finish a task once started. Laboratory results account for approximately 80 percent of the information used by a doctor to establish a diagnosis.

To maintain the integrity of the laboratory process, the medical technologist recognizes factors that could introduce error and rejects contaminated or sub-standard specimens. Department of Labor projects that the employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupation, and fewer than 5,000 graduate from accredited programs each year. In addition, manufacturers of home diagnostic testing kits and laboratory equipment and supplies also seek experienced Medical Technologists to work in product development, marketing, and sales. A Medical Technologist who gains experience in one of the special areas of the laboratory has the opportunity to advance to a specialist level by taking a specialist examination from a certifying agency.
In their search for data on a patient’s health, Medical Technologists do much more than examine specimens through a microscope. In addition, the volume of laboratory tests continues to increase with both population growth and the development of new types of tests. Hospitals, independent laboratories, clinics, public health facilities, and industry all currently have positions open for qualified Medical Technologists. Additional opportunities are available in molecular biotechnology companies and in vitro fertilization laboratories as well as in research labs.

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