The Profession: Medical Technologist / Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Technologists are highly educated laboratory scientists who are involved
in all aspects of clinical laboratory testing. In addition to
performing the many types of important laboratory tests, Medical
Technologists (also called Clinical Laboratory Scientists) interpret
data, analyze results, develop
procedures, manage information, and communicate with other members of
the health care team.
Medical Technologists culture and identify
bacteria, microscopically differentiate cells, microorganisms, and
crystals, and operate complex electronic instruments to analyze blood
for the presence of normal, abnormal, and malignant chemical elements,
cells, and components. They determine drug levels to assess
treatment and to detect drugs of abuse, prepare blood for transfusion,
and evaluate the chemical, cellular, and immune composition of blood,
urine, and other body fluids. Other duties are to operate sophisticated
computerized instruments, data management, inventory control, and
Medical technologists work in each of the major
areas of the laboratory: a) Blood Banking, b) Chemistry, c) Hematology,
d) Immunology and e) Microbiology. In industry, medical
technologists develop, market, and sell products, conduct research, and
monitor quality assurance. Medical technologists can also advance to
management, consulting, specialist, or teaching positions.
Job opportunities are excellent. The U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics estimates that hospitals will need nearly 10,000 new
clinical laboratory scientists each year. Jobs are readily available in
Arkansas and across the country. There is a critical shortage of
clinical laboratory personnel, and this shortage will likely become more
acute in the near future.
Medical technologists have many choices for
practice including hospital, clinic, public health, research, and private
laboratories; companies manufacturing laboratory analysis systems,
supplies, equipment or media;
state or national crime
labs; physician office laboratories; paternity testing laboratories;
and biotechnology, food,
and cosmetic industries.
The starting salary for new graduates in Arkansas is approximately
$35,000 annually. The national median is $43,000. Higher salaries
are available for working evening or night shifts. Experienced
supervisors and managers average salaries range from $45,000 to
A Career in Medical Technology Offers You So Much
Medical technology is
a rewarding, exciting, career.
- Flexible and stable jobs as medical
technologists are readily available.
- Medical technology is a helping
profession that involves less direct patient care than nursing and fewer
years of education than medical school.
- Medical technology is ideal for students who
love biology or chemistry.
- Medical technologists enjoy analysis,
problem-solving, accuracy, and attention to detail.
- A bachelor's degree in medical technology is
an excellent option for those preparing for medical school, dental
school, pharmacy school, or an advanced degree in