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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical laboratory technologists. Currently, 3,700 people work as medical laboratory technologists in Tennessee. This is expected to grow by 12% to about 4,140 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. In general, medical laboratory technologists perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Income for medical laboratory technologists is about $25 hourly or $53,250 per year on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,500 yearly. Incomes for medical laboratory technologists are better than in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Tennessee, and better than the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. Medical laboratory technologists work in a variety of jobs, including: differential specialist, clinical research associate, and medical laboratory technologist .

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree as a medical laboratory technologist. Given that the most common education level for medical laboratory technologists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Chattanooga include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • 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

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a medium sized university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,807 students and an admission rate of 79%. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist.

Lee University - Cleveland, TN

Lee University, 1120 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311. Lee University is a small university located in Cleveland, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,147 students and an admission rate of 64%. Lee University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated one student in 2008.

Southern Adventist University - Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370. Southern Adventist University is a small university located in Collegedale, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,731 students and an admission rate of 70%. Southern Adventist University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated three 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.

LICENSES

CYTOLOGY GENERAL SUPERVISOR

Licensing agency: Medical Laboratory Board
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5080
Website: Medical Laboratory Board Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

CYTOTECHNOLOGIST

Licensing agency: Medical Laboratory Board
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5080
Website: Medical Laboratory Board Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

MEDICAL LABORATORY SPECIAL ANALYST

Licensing agency: Medical Laboratory Board
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5080
Website: Medical Laboratory Board Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

MEDICAL LABORATORY SUPERVISIOR

Licensing agency: Medical Laboratory Board
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5080
Website: Medical Laboratory Board Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST

Licensing agency: Medical Laboratory Board
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5080
Website: Medical Laboratory Board Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.