skip to main content

Career Connections: Medical Technologist

5 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Medical Technologist.

(woman) I decided to become a medical technologist because I love microscopy, which is working with microscopes. Using the microscopes to look at bacteria and living things that we can't see with the naked eye is exciting, and I get to use that in my job. It's thrilling, and I love that part of my job.

(Describer) Amanda Drew:

My key responsibilities are receiving and analyzing blood specimen and body fluids. I run the tests and report back to the nurses and doctors, give them the levels and results needed to treat the patient and make sure my instruments are working correctly, so I do maintenance every night before running the tests. I also check on the last shift to ensure they don't need help when I first come in. Than I receive the specimen that comes from the floor. Stats are a specimen that needs to be resulted right away, and routines are specimens that can be done after the stats. All results are done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

(Describer) She takes a plastic bag with samples in it to a microscope and computer on a counter.

It's important to give accurate results for many reasons. First, because that's what they use to treat these people. They're using their levels, their different chemical balances, their blood counts. They're using everything I give them to treat them. It's important to give correct numbers and very important that my instruments work correctly. Doing controls is important, that everything's falling in the right ranges so patients also fall in the right ranges. For example, if I gave a result that was too high on a patient, they could make their level lower, when in reality, their level was normal, and that's very harmful to a patient.

(Describer) He puts a test tube with a sample in a rack in a machine.

To become a medical technologist, you need a four-year bachelor degree, and then a one-year, clinical year in an accredited school. You can do that a few different ways. The path I chose, I received my bachelor's degree in biology, and then I pursued the one-year clinical rotation. I did that locally, here. Another avenue is some colleges have a CLS program, a clinical laboratory science program, where you do three years, then your last, your fourth year of college becomes your clinical. That makes it a little shorter. If you're interested in becoming a medical technologist and you're in high school, I recommend taking science courses. I would recommend taking maybe some chemistry. Even though that wasn't my favorite in school, you still have to take it. I also recommend to friends that have children in high school to take a post-secondary option. If your school allows taking college courses while still in high school, that's very beneficial to you. I recommend going to a laboratory and shadowing there. That will tell you in one day if this is what you want to be doing with your life. Hi, it's Amanda. I have a critical for you guys.

(Describer) She’s on the phone.

I'm one step away from actual patient care. I'm a very compassionate person, and I've dealt with many things, but I don't like to see that. People are sick and hurting and caring for them takes a lot. It takes special people to care for them. I help by reporting to those nurses and doctors that are caring for the patient firsthand.

(Describer) She puts tubes in a smaller machine.

I love my job because no two days are ever the same. There's always different problems to be solved. Sometimes it's problems with the instruments or problems with patients. It's exciting, and I don't want to do the same thing every day. I think that's boring, so I love my job.

(Describer) She looks into the microscope. Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. WBGU-TV Public Television. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

Transcript Options


Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

Report a Problem

Experience the daily work of a medical technologist as she explains why this fast-paced career is so important to the proper care and treatment of patients. Learn the education and certification requirements for this career. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12