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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical laboratory technologists. There are currently 3,560 working medical laboratory technologists in Missouri; this should grow 7% to about 3,830 working medical laboratory technologists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical laboratory technologists are expected to grow by about 11.9%. Medical laboratory technologists generally perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Medical laboratory technologists earn about $25 per hour or $52,040 yearly on average in Missouri and about $25 per hour or $53,500 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as medical laboratory technologists in Missouri earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Medical laboratory technologists work in a variety of jobs, including: clinical medical technologist, clinical laboratory scientist , and microbiology technologist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a medical laboratory technologist, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level 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 Columbia include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Veterinarian. Diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals. May engage in a particular function, such as research and development, consultation, administration, technical writing, sale or production of commercial products, or rendering of technical services to commercial firms or other organizations. Includes veterinarians who inspect livestock.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technologist Training

Lincoln University - Jefferson City, MO

Lincoln University, 820 Chestnut, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029. Lincoln University is a small university located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,109 students. Lincoln University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist.

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated eight students 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: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.