Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: Hospital labs are always open. We analyze blood, urine and other body fluids for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. Medical technologists have four-year degrees and can work in specialty areas such as hematology, chemistry and microbiology. We use highly-sophisticated medical instrumentation and technology linked to computers. We interpret results, problem-solve and analyze data that is used to detect disease and infections.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
A: Physicians rely on lab results to diagnose and treat patients as well as to prevent and monitor disease. The laboratory contributes as much as 94 percent of the objective data in a clinical record, according to an article in Clinical Leadership & Management Review.
Q: With whom do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: We interact with patients, nurses, physicians, nursing home and clinic staff, and just about every department in the hospital.
Q: Why did you become a medical technologist?
A: In college, I loved biology and chemistry. My advisor was a former med tech who told me it would be ever-changing. I've always been glad that she steered me in this direction. Med techs have a lot of options besides the hospital. They can work in clinics, industries, blood centers, public health, research, pharmaceutical companies and crime labs. If you watch CSI, that's what we do.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: It's challenging and involves a lot of problem-solving. Every day there is something different. I really feel like my daily job has an immediate impact on the care of the patient. There are a lot of opportunities to grow and develop within the career. It's never the same. There's always something new. Things develop so fast that it's really exciting. You have to love change.