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What to Expect in Becoming a Medical Technologist (Job Description, Expertise, Skills)

Updated on July 2, 2019
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Krishna is a registered medical technologist by profession. She works inside the laboratory in a hospital.

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Why Medical Technology?

Choosing a career path is not an easy thing to do. I have considered many options before choosing medical technology. I have always wanted to work inside a hospital and choosing the best medical related profession is the tough decision that I must make.

I am now a medical technologist by profession. The primary reason why I took up this course is that it is said that it is the best pre-med course out there.

Sure thing, it is the best pre-med course out there with all its surprises. Doctors usually diagnose their patient's condition by analyzing laboratory results which are done by medical technologists. Most of the subjects taken up in taking medicine are included in a medical technologist's curriculum. Taking up medicine after studying medical technology will be easier because of the similarity of the subjects taken.

I have also considered that I am always amazed and curious about working with chemicals and the different processes done inside the laboratory. I have decided that medical technology is the course that will satisfy my passion for dealing with scientific work.

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Job Description

The journey on becoming a medical technologist is sure a tough ride but it is something that you will enjoy eventually. The job is not for the faint-hearted. It requires hard work and dedication. There are a lot of things I wish I have known sooner before taking up the course.

Job Description: perform and analyze the results of complex scientific tests on blood and bodily fluids.

Being a medical technologist is a fulfilling work as one continues to deal with patients and aid doctors by performing different laboratory procedures. It is such a beauty to understand how the body works.

What are the things to expect when aspiring to be a medical technologist?

Here is a list of a few things all about medical technology:

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1. Expect that you will have to deal with all the smelly bodily fluids.

The main part of describing a medical technologist is someone who analyzes different bodily fluids which includes urine, stool, sputum, biopsy specimen which includes body tissues and others. It is also part of the job description to collect specimen from wounds, throat swab, and others.

No. 1 rule in becoming a medical technologist: you should be able to handle the gross things that you will see and smell. It will be hard at first but you will eventually get used to it later on.

Even though you are required to wear face masks and gloves inside the laboratory, you will need to learn to not lose your appetite over the samples that you will handle.

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2. You will have to memorize truckloads of information

This course is said to be the best pre-med course. That is because you will have to memorize and understand a lot of diseases and how to diagnose them by performing laboratory procedures.

Taking up this course will require you to read a lot of books. Cycles, pathways, normal values, different procedures, body processes - there are a lot of things that you will need to understand by heart.

Know that by understanding well, you will be able to perform better in aiding in saving a patient's life. Be prepared to study well because taking up this course won't be an easy ride.

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3. Be prepared to extract blood (and being the one getting extracted)

If you think that you won't be meeting patients because medical technologists usually work inside the laboratory - you are mistaken. Medical technologists are usually the ones who extract blood from patients. Vice versa, as a student, be prepared to be practiced on in extracting blood.

Afraid of needles? Afraid of blood? These are the things that you should be able to overcome as you desire to become a medical technologist.

There are some hospitals, usually in the Middle East, where medical technologists do not extract blood. Phlebotomists do the job instead. Most of the times in a lot of countries, medical technologists are the ones who extract blood from patients. Be prepared.

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4. You have to exercise proper precautions in dealing with specimens

Working inside the laboratory and dealing with specimens is hazardous. One must practice and perform proper precautions at all times. Know that medical technologists are always exposed in acquiring diseases from the patients and safety and protection must always be practiced.

Any specimen that a medical technologist must be treated as something hazardous. Do your best to practice proper precautions.

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5. Taking up medical technology will be costly

Unless you have the scholarship, taking up medical technology course will be costly compared to other non-medical courses.

Be prepared to spend a lot of money if you are going to pursue any medical related course. Also, there is a lot of other miscellaneous stuff that you need to spend on: books, reviewers, and other laboratory materials that you will need for practical examinations.

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6. Do not stop learning

To become a better medical technologist, one must always update himself with the new studies and practices in the field of science. A medical technologist must always be updated with the new diseases, procedures, and other stuff dealing with patients.

There are a lot of further studies that a medical technologist could take: specialize in bacteriology, research studies, and a whole lot more. Aside from pursuing medicine, there are a lot of other options that a medical technologist that usually requires further studies.

As professional, never-ending learning is a must.

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Taking up medical technology is a good thing to do especially if you are planning to pursue medicine after. However, you must also consider the pros and cons of taking up this course. Working in a hospital is risky and usually requires night shifting.

If taking medical technology is really your dream, go for it. Taking up this course might be tough but it will be worth it. Being a health professional allows one to help many people. Know that any career path that you will take requires some sacrifices and hard work. Go for the one that will suit you best.

© 2019 Krishna

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