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Advice? [Oct. 23rd, 2013|03:27 am]
Medical Technologists


No one's really posted in here for a few years, but I have my fingers crossed someone might see this.

I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in a field related to MT, but not MT specifically. I came to the conclusion late in my college career that I'd like to pursue MT as a career-- however, I don't really have the time nor the finances to allow me to go through an accredited MT program (at the moment, anyways).

I noticed on the ASCP website that you could become eligible for certification if you work a given period of time in a specific laboratory setting.

I guess the meat of my question is: Has anyone gone the non-traditional way to become certified? Or know someone who has? And if so, how did they manage to get into a lab. without a certification?

Any suggestions, comments, or advice would be really helpful. :)

[User Picture]From: krzykat
2013-10-24 02:52 am (UTC)
It may depend on what state you are in. I knew a few people that became Med techs without having gone through a Med Tech program, but now with licensure in many of the states, I'm not sure if that is a pathway any longer-- or at least in states where you get licensed.
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[User Picture]From: post_undergrad
2013-10-24 04:41 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the speedy reply! And yes, that's what I was afraid of.

I was hoping I would be able to find a hospital to sponsor me, or at least allow me to work there until I get my certification, but no dice so far. I'm sure they think I'd be more of a liability than an asset, even though my degree is in microbiology.

Again, thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. :)
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[User Picture]From: bobsnuggles
2013-10-25 02:36 am (UTC)
Hi, I tried replying to your post, but was told my comment counted as spam?

It may be because it included a link? Anyways, what I said was:

"Most labs aren't willing to hire non-certified people anymore. Especially in more urban areas where there aren't shortages of med techs.

That being said, you may qualify for categorical certification in one or more areas. Many schools offer these one year categorical programs (if you don't already qualify).

UTMB is an example of this (I tried providing you with a link, but some quick googling should work just as well).
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[User Picture]From: post_undergrad
2013-10-25 03:48 am (UTC)
Ah, yes-- I found the link, thanks for that. :)

Tarleton State University offers a similar program close to where I live, but I didn't really want to spend another year going to school full time-- especially before I've been able to pay off the debt for my B.S. degree. So, unfortunately, I don't really see that as an option at this point in time.

I appreciate the input, though. And that's good to know that most places aren't willing to hire non-certified people. I've suspected that for some time now, but it's nice to have confirmation. :)
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[User Picture]From: bobsnuggles
2013-10-25 04:46 am (UTC)
Haha, wow the UTMB suggestion was just a shot in the dark, I had no idea you were a fellow DFW-er. Howdy :)

Hmmm now that I'm seeing that your undergrad was in microbiology, you might have an easier time. I'm sure you have, but you might be able to find something doing food testing or something? At least for a year? Based on ASCP's standards, you'd just need a year of applicable lab experience and then you'd be able to take the categorical certification exam.

If the clinical lab is something you're serious about, you could apply for a job as something like a specimen processor (sometimes in the bigger hospitals they will have someone who's job it is to do all micro set-ups). Obviously you're super overqualified for this, but it might get your foot in the door, plus then you'd have money coming in. Plus once you're with a hospital for about a year, lots of them will start footing the bill further education- like getting the categorical micro courses done.
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[User Picture]From: post_undergrad
2013-10-25 02:26 pm (UTC)
Haha, the UTMB suggestion was a good guess-- been in DFW my whole life. :) Howdy!

I've only seen a few postings for specimen processors, and they were all based in Lewisville which is a considerable commute for me. I might have to bite the bullet and just take one, though, if they'll even hire me because of my 4 year degree. :(

Yeah, I've been pretty much applying to anything that would be doing work in a laboratory setting, and just crossing my fingers they're CAP certified or something. Of course, no one wants to hire someone with no experience. x) Gonna keep looking, though.
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[User Picture]From: sammynella
2013-10-26 02:16 pm (UTC)
What city are you in? I'm in Graham, about 90 miles north of Stephenville. I quit college before finishing my MT from WTAMU. I started working at Graham Regional Medical Center as a phlebotomist and then finished my four year degree(not in MT as it would turn out, but I had met all the academic requirements to sit for AMT's MT registry). So I trained in my home lab for a year, very well documented and signed off by a pathologist. My advice to you is seek out smaller (50 bed or less) teaching hospitals in your area and see if they would be willing to train you. You could always sit for ASCP's micro specialty.
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[User Picture]From: post_undergrad
2013-10-29 06:10 am (UTC)
I would love to sit for the ASCP's micro specialty, but there's still the issue that I don't have the required laboratory experience... to sit for any of the exams offered by either AMT or ASCP. And, like I said, I've been having an incredibly difficult time finding a place to give me any type of lab experience without being certified.

I'm in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, so I'm not sure how available smaller hospitals in the area are... they're all pretty darn big. I don't mind commuting, but I'm eventually going to move to south-west Irving, which will push me further from smaller hospitals than where I am now.

I've been looking into medical research assistant positions, but I'm not entirely sure research is the field for me-- not only that, but I wouldn't be doing clinical work. It would be for research, which is... a little more lax than clinical.
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[User Picture]From: sammynella
2013-10-30 03:56 am (UTC)
Just a thought, but since you are moving to south Irving, have you considered Quest Diagnostics? They might be willing to train you, especially in their micro department in return for gaining an employee for a few years. It's worth a shot!
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[User Picture]From: post_undergrad
2013-11-05 06:13 am (UTC)
I have looked into Quest (and, consequently, Lab Corp. as well)-- no dice so far. I guess in this economy it's just important to keep applying and hope you get noticed. Fingers crossed! :)
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From: ldmonster
2016-10-09 06:16 am (UTC)
I guess the meat of my question is Has anyone gone the non-traditional way to become certified? Or k
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