Antigen, Medical Technologist

I did it! I graduated, wrote the national certification exam, and I just finished my first day working as a medical technologist. I’m loving it! Finally, after learning and learning and learning until I was sure that my head would explode, a chance to actually use it for something! It’s amazing how good it feels to be working with specimens, entering patient results, calling the wards and giving STAT results to the doctors, and knowing that I’m doing something important.

I don’t have my official hospital ID yet, but I have a lab coat with my name on it! And damned if I don’t make a lab coat look gooood. :slight_smile: I was in the HR office today to sign papers involving my job description, and under “title” it said “Medical Technologist”. I think I was smiling for an hour afterwards. I’m a professional now!

I’m feeling a little bit lost, now that I don’t have to study anymore. Well, I’ll still study for a little while, because I’m going to be doing the ASCP exam soon, in hopes of eventually working in the States. But then, after that… what the heck do people do with evenings?

Congratulations! Hey people, let’s have a little love here - I wrote those national certification exams for Med Lab Technology sometime back around the turn of the century, and they are DAMNED HARD! (I passed, by the way. :smiley: ) Being an RT wasn’t for me, so I got out of the biz, but good for you, Antigen. There’s still some things I miss about the labs; I used to love sitting and reading the pathology books about all the weird diseases, and it is pretty darned exciting (in a morbid way) to get really unusual results for tests. If I’d stayed in it, I think I would have focused on blood banking and genetics. Those were always my strongest interest.

OOh! I gotta send my congrats, too! You did done a bunch of work to get there. I also remember thinking the tests were the hardest thing in the universe. I’m in about my 13th year of working in hospital labs, with a few years off, and I still absolutely adore my career. Here’s to a long, happy career for you!!

Smashed Ice Cream, MT(ascp)
(And I still loooove wearing the lab coat)

I’ve been doing MT work in a genetics lab for about 4 years now, and I’m getting a wee bit tired of it, but I don’t want to rain on the parade, so I’ll just say congratulations! :smiley:

Smeghead, BS, CLSp(MB)



Well done!

Yay you!

What, precisely, is a Medical Technologist?
:confused: :confused: :confused:
What kind of training/education is involved?

Look here

You know those lab nurses ( :rolleyes: ) in hospitals who come around to take blood? Those are usually Medical Laboratory Technologists. The people running the tests in the labs (glucose tests, cbc’s, cross-matches, urine samples, etc.) - also lab techs. You could consider the Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist (the full title of someone who has passed the national certification tests, usually after two years of training, except that might be longer now) to be somewhat equivalent to a Registered Nurse.

The training is difficult and rigourous, as you would expect it to be for someone who is doing tests on sick people that doctors are basing their diagnosis and treatment on. We had a 40% washout rate when I took the training; you need a strong inclination to biology and chemistry, as well as the ability to work very quickly and accurately doing repetitive tasks.

Congratulations, Antigen! What department are you working in, or are you a generalist? Take the ASCP BOR exam soon, while all that knowledge is fresh.

Vlad Igor, BS MT(ASCP)

Congratulations! Welcome to the working world!

For now I’ve gotten myself a job in a hospital blood bank, even if it’s only on availability. With staffing as it is these days, I’m still getting full-time hours and the outlook is good that I’ll get enough shifts to stay alive.

I like it all though, with the exception of biochemistry. Too much machinery. It’s just not for me, although I find the subject itself interesting. In the labs, I felt like I was just babysitting a machine: feed it, clean up its poop, and comfort it when it cries. :slight_smile: I need to be hands-on, or I go a little insane. Blood bank, micro, pathology… bring it on!

I’m trying to get the ASCP exam under my belt but they’re giving me an incredibly hard time because I’m Canadian. First I had to convince them that my Bachelor’s in Physiology does count for something, even if it’s a three-year program, because my province has a different system… And then I finally got all my paperwork in, or so I thought, until they sent me a letter saying I need to send more stuff. Sigh. Come on, I can’t be the first Canadian to do this!

From what I remember your alma mater is the same as mine and my sister’s (I’m in law, she’s in medicine) and neither of us had problems transferring our Bachelors degrees to the US, American schools and US licensing authorities (I’m barred, she just finished up her Boards), despite going through the same 3 year deal. Not to mention the fact that there are so many cross-border transplants and Americans there now, the administration is pretty savvy in dealing with American authorities. I think you are just dealing with an especially stupid person at the ASCP. For which I am sorry.

On top of everything else, if Americans are likely to know about any Canadian school they’re most likely to know McGill.

As a point of curiousity, why did you even tell them about the 3 year deal? All you have to tell them is that it’s a Bachelor’s.

Congratulations, though :)!!!

Well, after I said “Bachelor’s degree” she asked “3 or 4 years?” And, not thinking that it would make a difference, I answered honestly. But now I’m just waiting on the paperwork, and I don’t need to speak to that particular secretary again. I just hope I get to write the exam before all my learning leaks out!

Very well done!

Rysdad, RT®

Ah, blood bank. You have a most apt username then. You’ll have some war stories before you’ve too much time in BB. It is probably the most intense, most rewarding part of the lab, but also the most difficult. Regarding biochem, well, I won’t mention that I’m working on an MS in Biochemistry :wink: . Your comment about babysitting machines is well noted, and the reason why a lot of older techs have left the field in the past 20 years or so. You’ll find that rather than doing bench chemistry and other procedures, you’re doing a lot more data management in terms of looking at chem basic or CBC (or other machine) values to see if they make sense before you let them out of the door. You are the last line of QC before the result gets charted. Good luck, and have fun. You will find that there are lots of other opportunitites that will open to you as you gain experience. Plus, I’m jealous, as you’re learning terms in my profession en francais (je suppose que oui?).


But of course! Actually, in my lab we’ve got a mix of French and English speakers, so we speak in mixed sentences. “We need to pool more plaquettes for 5 North!” My official training and my classes were all in English, so it gets confusing for me sometimes, but it’s fun because I’m learning a whole lot of new words.

If you’re ever curious about French lab terms, my email is in my profile, and I’d be happy to help you out. Nothing like talking shop!

Antigen:Well, after I said “Bachelor’s degree” she asked “3 or 4 years?” And, not thinking that it would make a difference, I answered honestly. But now I’m just waiting on the paperwork, and I don’t need to speak to that particular secretary again. I just hope I get to write the exam before all my learning leaks out!


Huh. I’ve never even heard of a 3 year Bachelors in the US. I think the moron might have been trying to ask you, in a very bungling manner, if you had some Canadian version of an “Associate’s Degree” (A.A.) which is a degree you get from attending a 2 year community college versus a 4 year B.A…

Gosh, it sucks that it’s been such an ordeal for you. Like I said, I’m in a licensed profession as well and having a Candian degree has never been an issue for me. I don’t outrightedly declare that I did a 3 year’s bachelors but when I put the dates that I was there (97-2000), it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t go to school for 4 years total.

Best of luck and I hope your paperwork gets processed soon.