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Med. Tech. school enviroment vs Lab. working enviroment. [Jul. 3rd, 2009|01:16 pm]
Medical Technologists
I'm glad to have found this site, I though there was no place out there for Med. Techs to exchange experiences.
Now, this is my issue.
I'm 4 weeks away from finishing a Med. Tech. program and about 6 weeks from taking my board exam, but during the past school year my classmates and I had been exchanging feelings of discontent about our schools' training techniques and how they will affect us once we hit the real world.
Our school schedule run lectures and rotations simultaneusly. We we're in lab in the morning for about 4 hours and lecture in the afternoon for about 3 hours. Due to the obvious time constrictions, our lab rotations are more focused on execution and production than correlating lectures with clinical work (at least that's how we fell them). This make everybody think  that we were training just to work as a "line production worker".  Also, in the rotation areas, we were treated as if we were uncompetent workers rather than sudents. Our questions were mostly anwered with the likes of: " you don't you know that"? or "you should know that already", moreover, with an attitude of humiliation.  Is this a common practice in Med. Tech. schools or do we just happen to be in a bad school?
Right now, I'm feeling that it was a big mistake switching from Pharmacy to Medical Technologist; I'm just hoping that everything will be different once I dive completely into the field.  

Here are some questions:
I was told before that Lab. professionals were not friendly people, but I was not expecting that to be true (sadly in our school program it is true). Is it every lab working enviroment  as uncomfortable and unprofessional as ours? 
Am I going to have the opportunity to "re-train"some of my weak areas once I start working? I mean, I never got to issue any blood product from blood bank (go figure), or am I expected to start producing  20 test per minute right away? 
Are turn around times more important than the quality of the tests? Or is it just in our hospital? It seems to be a conflicting issue to me.
Lastly, I'm studying for the board, but my lecture notes do not covered everything asked on the practice questions. Does anybody knows any good review-book or website that could help me with my studying?
I am very much thank full for any reply.

From: gto_72
2009-07-04 04:21 pm (UTC)


Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm very thrill about reading different experiences, especially good ones, from outside of our hospital.

Apotropic, guess what? I do have a lined job in this place, although not by choice... At the start of the program, we were offered a "scholarship" and we all applied for it. Well..., we all miracously qualified and received it. Later on, we found out that this "scholarship" was more like a sign in bonus. So now, if we don't accept an offered position in the hospital (which we were told first that a maximum of three out of seven may be hire, now we're all being hire) we are obligated to repay 100% of the so-called "scholarship" ($3000.00). How's that for a deal? :(
I'm glad you're a teacher and mentioned your old schedule cause I find ours' schedule somewhat odd. For example, In my second week in the program, I was receiving phlebotomy lecture (and practice), but simultaneously doing blood bank rotation with no blood bank knowledge whatsoever. I felt like a fish out of the water, to say the least. It's really strange that the rotations were not synchronized with the lectures; to me that would have being a better approach, but hey! what do I know? I will like to know your opinion on that matter. As well as tzigana and m0nkeygrl's opinions.

Another thing,(sorry, but I have to share this stuff or I'll go nuts) our teachers (in the rotations) were just "trainers"/regular empoyees who have to make time in between tests to give us some short instructions here and there, but never fully commited to spend continuos time with a student to make him/her feel more familiarize with the task at hand. This caused a trend in all of us, including me, who many times made mistakes over and over again until someone finally caught you doing it (and make you feel stupid, by the way). When the truth of the matter is, that the student received just partial instructions (or a different technique)to begin with. In adittion, we have to actually perform and REPORT real time patient testing (at three to four weeks of being new in a rotation) at a speed you would expect from a more experienced Medical technologists, moreover, take full responsibility for any mistake we made. I found this an unnecessary stressfull situation for a student, who's concentration should be pointed mainly at learning. It is obvious to me and my classmates that in this hospital we (the students) are being use as a primary source to alleviate an understaff issue; and that really enfuriate us. It is really frustating... Ohh! and there's more to share, so stay tuned...lol. Seriously, I really had to dig deep throughout this year to find the motivation to study and learn a job that I personally feel, and please excuse my language, is so *uck up. Hopefully, my opinion will change in the future, otherwise my career will.

Thanks again and Happy Independence day to everyone!!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: apotropaic
2009-07-04 10:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanks!!!

I thought I'd clarify my program again! I did a 1 year post-grad program, so my bachelor's is actually in psychology.

I received "tuition forgiveness" at my current job, which I applied for prior to entering the med tech program. My med tech schooling was paid for in return for a roughly 2 year commitment after school got out. So in some ways it was similar to the scholarship you received, except it was very up-front! =)
It may still be worth it for you to apply to other hospitals around your area. I don't know where you live, but I'm in Denver, and there are a lot of hospitals. And it was NOT unusual for other hospitals to buy out a tuition forgiveness contract in order to entice a student away from the hospital they have previously contracted with. It may be worth it for you to apply elsewhere and see if another hospital would be willing to pay that $3000 in exchange for a commitment.

As for teaching - I'm not officially a teacher, we just do TONS of it in my department! EVERYONE teaches. However, we do tend to be with the students continuously - after all, it's the trainer's name on the work, not the student's. But we try to gradually make the student more independent (still with supervision - we don't teach the students any computer work, as that is not the point of their rotation. However, that's a micro thing, I know that in other departments the computer work is necessary to perform the work).
Also, because we all teach, it's not unusual for the students from the previous year, now full-fledged med techs, to be teaching the current year's students. But it almost sounds like your program was so miserable that the people who have previously gone through the program take it out on the next class, since that's what they themselves had to go through. Kind of like "nurses eat their young," except not nurses!

So please, PLEASE look into other job opportunities! If something doesn't fit, look somewhere else! In my area, med techs are always in demand, and job security isn't an issue. If a job wants you, they will pay that $3000. I think your school sounds a bit deceptive, honestly - and I wonder if there were other programs available that you weren't informed about.
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From: gto_72
2009-07-05 05:14 am (UTC)

Re: Thanks!!!

Deceptive indeed...
I already applied to another hospital, but I live in a small city in oklahoma with only 4 hospitals, so my choices are very limited and relocation is an issue at least for now.

About other programs there are only two in the area. Ours and one located about 200 miles away from where I live. I'm married with kids, so I chose the closest one.
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