You may not have met any medical technologists during your last trip to the hospital. But they’re one of the most important members of a hospital’s staff. Also called clinical laboratory technologists, they are responsible for performing and analyzing the results of complex scientific tests. This means that a patient’s diagnosis depends highly on their uncelebrated work.
Whether you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree in medical technology or are still thinking about it, here are things you should expect on the job:
1. You Have to Be Detail-Oriented
With a lot of tests that need to be done, it’s easy for some things to slip through the cracks. But a medical technologist can’t afford to let this happen. Even missing the smallest detail could have big implications.
An error during testing could make for an inaccurate diagnosis. This could negatively affect how a patient ends up getting treated. As a medical technologist, you have to be both accurate and thorough to guarantee that patients have correct diagnoses
2. You’ll Experience Repetitive Tasks
In this line of work, your tasks will appear redundant at first. After all, there are much more patients in the world than there are types of tests that you can do. But each test is important, and staying focused throughout all of them is vital.
However, don’t worry too much. Many facilities allow medical technologists to rotate through different departments in the lab. Despite all the repetition, this still adds a small bit of variety to your daily tasks.
3. Your Work is Behind the Scenes
Not everyone wants to be in the spotlight. If you’re one of those people, then a career as a medical technologist might be right for you.
In this job, you won’t be having much face-to-face contact with patients. At most, you’ll only be required to interact with them when you need to draw blood, or when you need to instruct them for certain tests. This makes it perfect for people who just want to lay low and do their job well.
4. You’ll Be on a Stable Career Path
If you value a stable career above all else, then you’ve made a great choice to work as a medical technologist. Simply put, there won’t be a shortage of people who need access to medical services.
With the US’s ageing population alone (expected to reach 21.7% of the total population by 2040), you can expect that more and more people will be needing their tests done. These include running diagnostics for diseases such as type 2 diabetes or cancer. All in all, this is a field that you can comfortably settle into.
5. You’ll Have a Great Foundation for Your Medical Degree
Additionally, there is plenty of overlap between the courses you’ll take as a medical technologist and those that you’ll take during your first couple of years as a doctor-in-training. So if you plan on using it as a stepping stone, then you’ll be having an easier time getting your medical degree.
It doesn’t matter if you start right after getting your bachelor’s degree or after getting some lab experience. The knowledge and understanding of scientific processes and basic diagnostics is enough to make it a great foundation for aspiring doctors. A laboratory background might even improve your career prospects as a doctor further down the line.