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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technicians in Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical laboratory technicians. Currently, 2,870 people work as medical laboratory technicians in Washington. This is expected to grow by 25% to 3,570 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.1% over the next eight years. In general, medical laboratory technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

The income of a medical laboratory technician is about $17 per hour or $36,820 yearly on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $35,380 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as medical laboratory technicians in Washington earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. People working as medical laboratory technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: serology technician, medical laboratory technologist, and medical technologist.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a medical laboratory technician. Medical laboratory technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a medical laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Laboratory Technician

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

In general, medical laboratory technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They also may work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Medical laboratory technicians assemble and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment. They also ready standard volumetric solutions and reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures. Equally important, medical laboratory technicians have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices. Finally, medical laboratory technicians conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer.

Every day, medical laboratory technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical laboratory technicians to analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs and narratives. They are often called upon to conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts. They also confer with a pathologist to establish a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found. They are sometimes expected to conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical laboratory technicians are also expected to perform medical research to further control and cure disease.

They also have to be able to obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating and identifying microorganisms for analysis And finally, they sometimes have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Vancouver 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.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technician Training

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Assistant which graduated zero and ten students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Medical Laboratory Technician: Certification translates to an advantage in the work place.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Registered Vascular Technologist: The examination's content outline includes: cerbrovascular, venous, peripheral arterial, abdomenal/visceral, miscellaneous conditions/tests, and quality assurance.

For more information, see the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 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.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International 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.

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant: The Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant is one of NHA's National Certification Examinations that is designed for only healthcare school graduates and medical professionals.

For more information, see the National Healthcareer Association 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.