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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for medical laboratory technologists in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Currently, 2,320 people work as medical laboratory technologists in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 16% to 2,680 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical laboratory technologists, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. Medical laboratory technologists generally perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

The income of a medical laboratory technologist is about $23 hourly or $47,860 per year on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,500 per year on average. Incomes for medical laboratory technologists are better than in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Alabama, and better than the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. Medical laboratory technologists work in a variety of jobs, including: flow cytometry technologist, medical chief technician, and differential specialist.

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as a medical laboratory technologist. The most common level of education for medical laboratory technologists is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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 Huntsville 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.
  • 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

Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL

Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technologist. They are:

  • Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist, bachelor's degree.
  • Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student 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: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.