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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Birmingham, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for medical laboratory technologists in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 2,320 working medical laboratory technologists in Alabama; this should grow by 16% to 2,680 working medical laboratory technologists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical laboratory technologists are expected to grow by about 11.9%. In general, medical laboratory technologists perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Medical laboratory technologists earn about $23 per hour or $47,860 per year on average in Alabama and about $25 per hour or $53,500 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as medical laboratory technologists in Alabama earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. People working as medical laboratory technologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: clinical medical technologist, histologist technologist, and immunohematologist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a medical laboratory technologist, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for medical laboratory technologists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a medical laboratory technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Laboratory Technologist

Medical Laboratory Technologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical laboratory technologists perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They also may train or supervise staff.

Medical laboratory technologists analyze laboratory findings to check the precision of the results. They also prepare and maintain laboratory apparatus. Equally important, medical laboratory technologists have to enter data from analyses of medical tests and clinical results into computers for storage. They are often called upon to operate, calibrate and maintain apparatus used in quantitative and qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers and computer-controlled analyzers. Finally, medical laboratory technologists establish and monitor quality assurance programs and efforts to insure the precision of laboratory results.

Every day, medical laboratory technologists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for medical laboratory technologists to conduct chemical analysis of body fluids and spinal fluid, to establish presence of normal and abnormal components. They are often called upon to furnish technical data related to test results to physicians, family members and researchers. They also supervise and direct lab assistants, medical and clinical laboratory technicians and technologists, and other medical laboratory staff working on laboratory testing. They are sometimes expected to design and modify procedures, techniques and tests used in the analysis of specimens and in medical laboratory experiments. Somewhat less frequently, medical laboratory technologists are also expected to obtain and mount biological material on slides for microscopic study and diagnosis, following standard laboratory procedures.

Medical laboratory technologists sometimes are asked to collect and study blood samples to establish the number of cells or their blood group and compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques. and cultivate and help in identifying microbial organisms, and perform various tests on these microorganisms. And finally, they sometimes have to conduct medical research under direction of microbiologist or biochemist.

Like many other jobs, medical laboratory technologists must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technologist Training

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technologist. They are:

  • Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eleven and ten students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Clinical Laboratory Consultant: The Certified Laboratory Consultant (CLC) is a medical laboratory expert who functions independently in providing laboratory-related guidance to healthcare facilities.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical Technologist: In order to become certified by the ASCP Board of Registry you must meet the academic requirements, the experience/training requirements and then successfully complete a certification examination.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.

Phlebotomist: The National Phlebotomy Association specializes in the training of Phlebotomists.

For more information, see the National Phlebotomy Association website.

Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician: Certification protects the public from unsafe and incompetent caregivers, gives consumers more choices in seeking health care providers, distinguishes among levels of care, and may give certified individuals a competitive advantage.

For more information, see the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

Clinical Nephrology Technologist: The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

For more information, see the Professional Testing Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.