My Education: B.S. Medical Technology
My Prior Experience: I worked as a laboratory specialist and generalist in various hospitals
My Company: I have worked at medical centers and hospitals
Job/Career Overview: I have worked at various size hospital and trauma centers. My main responsibility has been providing clinical analysis of various body fluids. The bulk of the testing is routine clinical analysis. There is also an emergency room that we provide STAT services. The turn around time for this analysis is critical and crucial. Services provided in the emergency room can be life saving. There are 5 areas of the Clinical Laboratory-Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Transfusion Services and Serology.
What we do is provided analysis results that can be compared to normals to help evaluate a patients medical condition. A quick and definite diagnosis can be obtained and a patient can begin the healing and or monitoring process for good health.
The instrumentation has to be quality controlled and quality assured for a standardized and reproducible result. Quality control and quality assurance of the reagents are performed to validate the integrity of the reagents. Evaluation of assays and new procedures are routinely evaluated to determine cost effectiveness and profitability. New DNA molecular genetics testing has made viral testing more routine and profitable to done in a general laboratory.
The clinical laboratory is a 24 hour operation with various hours and shifts. I have been able to do work various shifts and positions to accommodate my family needs.
I enjoy my job and have seen a lot of advancement and change in the healthcare laboratory. There is also a lot of job security because there is a high demand for your services.
I rate this career 9 out of 10.
The hardest part has been keeping up with advancements. The lower reimbursement of health care cost at the federal level has affected the hospital laboratory. The expectation of higher productivity with decrease cost adds pressure to your position. The new technology helps offset some of the burdens. A flexible attitude and open mind is a must. The hospital provides for some continuing education but there is a lot of out of pocket expense for continuing education and accreditation.
Do your best to keep up with the various areas of the clinical laboratory.
The ability to relocate as an added benefit. We moved a lot in my early years while my husband was in school. Early on in my career, my selling point in my interviews was my specialization in one area of the laboratory. I had to re-familiarize myself with other areas of the laboratory when I moved. I had to work a little to re-familiarize myself. The benefit to that is that later in my career, my selling point in my resume would be the various areas and hats that I wore in the clinical laboratory.