Medical laboratory technicians need to complete an associate’s degree that lasts for two years to get into entry-level positions in their field. Those who are already in a similar medical field only need a year to complete a certificate program. Both certificate and associate degree programs are focused on science and general laboratory knowledge. It is important for these technicians to enroll in an accredited program, so they won’t have any problem with their employment in the future.
What to Expect from School
The coursework in the educational programs for medical laboratory technicians is mostly laboratory-based. It usually includes multiple clinical practices. Students are taught all about diagnostic testing in a lab setting and analyzing substances, microorganisms, and blood using lab equipment.
Associate’s degree programs usually include courses such as biology, chemistry, cellular biology, and organic chemistry.
Certificate programs, on the other hand, usually focus on general education science coursework.
Graduates can choose to earn their certification or license to find better employment opportunities, especially in states that only accept licensed medical laboratory technicians.
Top Schools in the US in the field of medical laboratory technology
The top three schools offering medical laboratory technology in the US include the following:
- Marshall University. This is found in Huntington, West Virginia. The school ranked 39th on the 2012 list of the best regional schools in the South created by the US News & World Report. They offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Medical Laboratory Technology under their College of Health Professions.
- Madonna University. This is located in Livonia, Michigan. This Catholic university was among the top 100 regional universities in the Midwest in the 2012 list developed by the US News & World Report. They offer a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences and medical technology.
- Auburn University. This is based in Auburn, Alabama. The school was in the 82nd place in 2012 in the list of national universities determined by the US News & World Report. They offer a bachelor’s degree in medical technology.
Online Schools for medical lab technicians
There are online programs in medical laboratory technology as well as medical laboratory science to help students earn an associate’s and bachelor’s degree. They are not entirely offered online since students are still required to complete an internship at a local laboratory to give them hands-on experience. Those who complete the program would earn an AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology, AAS in Medical Laboratory Science, or BS in Medical Laboratory Technology.
The typical classes covered by these online medical laboratory technology classes include the following:
- Introductory medical laboratory course. This educates students about the professional and ethical behavior expected of medical laboratory technicians, as well as the safety techniques needed when working in the laboratory.
- Clinical chemistry course. This teaches students about analyzing the specimens to find out more about vitamins, calcium, vitamin deficiencies, electrolytes, and magnesium. It introduces them to potential problems and solutions.
- Immunology course. This course is all about making the students familiar with the body adapts or fights certain diseases with the help of antibodies. It teaches students about diagnostic techniques and procedures, disease correlations, and evaluating lab techniques.
Hematology course. This course educates students about blood anomalies and bone marrow disorders. This is when leukemia and other blood diseases are discussed.