Think of med tech certification as a moving target. Any changes in medicine and science must be reflected in laboratories, and medical technologists must learn new methods, instruments, safety standards and even patient privacy rules. This field of medicine has experienced a great deal of change over the last decade. Some notable advancements are the mapping of the human genome, the use of stem cell therapy, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, targeted cancer therapy and the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act. So what do these changes have to do with medical technologists? The answer is everything.
Sure, the basics are the same. The process of med tech certification includes testing on a wide variety of areas from laboratory quality control, to microscopy, to bacteriology and parasitology. It also now includes patient privacy, and some of the technologies relating to the aforementioned areas of knowledge have changed noticeably.
While every hospital or facility may not be able to afford the latest and best equipment, these entities must abide by federal laws and regulations, governed by OSHA, CLIA and HIPAA, to name a few. So, if you are seeking med tech certification, you can rest assured that your testing will include the most up-to-date knowledge. Also, because maintaining your certification requires continuing education throughout your career, you will always be aware of new technology and regulations.
Ten years ago, a patient might have had to wait a week for test results to be returned to a physician's office. Today, tests are ordered, blood is processed and results are entered into the patient's electronic medical record. Once there, results can be accessed quickly and easily, even from multiple locations within a facility. A technologist no longer has to look at each individual blood smear under a microscope, but instead can watch over a machine that can read these slides more rapidly, and only double check questionable slides.
To know what to expect on the med tech certification exam, visit the American Medical Technologists website. This resource allows you to download a handbook, a test content outline, suggested reference material for your studies and even a practice test.
Perhaps the most important consideration in your decision to become a medical technologist is choosing a program that is right for you. Although it is a moving target, your certification is a career-long commitment that will give you the edge to stay on top of your game, and ensure that you are able to hit your mark every time.