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Old 07-17-2012, 12:28 PM
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FG167 FG167 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Jefferson, GA
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Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
FG, I'd love to hear more about it, even if the OP doesn't
Originally Posted by AussieAshley View Post
I definitely would love to hear more about it! It sounds like there is less/little patient interaction and more hands on analysis which I would enjoy. Again a lot of conflicting info on how stable the job market is for them (especially those fresh out of school) so it would be great to hear from someone working in the field

Well, it's a four year Bachelor's degree. They keep changing the name, when I went to school it was Clinical Laboratory Sciences but my ASCP certification (needed to work) says Medical Laboratory Scientist. It used to just be Medical Technologist and that is usually what you see on job listings.

The program I went through and the others I've heard about are very, very difficult. But, I enjoyed the classes quite a lot. Loads of things you actually apply to the job, which is what makes the difference in my interest for studying something LOL Bad, but true. My program had clinicals set up for us (vs older programs where you have to seek out someone willing to take you on for clinical practice) and those were really neat. I went to three different hospitals and worked in the different departments. There is basically no patient interaction if you don't want it. Some smaller labs/hospitals will also have their MTs draw blood but it isn't necessarily the norm. You do have to pull a phlebotomy rotation during the course, however. I was dreading it as I don't care for needles but it was actually pretty neat. All the courses were matched with "real" labs so you actually practiced what you were learning - that's where I learned the most!

There are numerous different options for working. You can continue school (I would recommend getting a job where they will pay for your continued education) and specialize or you can generalize. I voted to generalize because I figured it would help me the most. The areas I worked in were Chemistry (three different - regular testing, special Chem and urinalysis), Hematology (my fave!), Coagulation and Microbiology. There are also Immunology and Blood Bank.

When I graduated, there were 13 that made it to the end of my program (it was very hard) and 8 of us applied for 4 open jobs in my area. I was one of the ones that got a job, I actually got offered two from two different hospitals and that was 2 solid months before I officially graduated. I was hired on as a 0.2 employee, that basically means I worked 2 days a pay period. Well, I would have, but it was upped to 0.5 by the time I started and I easily was able to "pick up" days I wanted to work and work full time. This was on third shift however. I worked full time third shift for two years (every other weekend, 3 holidays a year) and then landed the gravy, first shift job I have now.

On third shift I generalized and I learned SO MUCH and felt very, very confident in my abilities. I'm sure that carried over into my interview for my first shift job. Now, I am a specialist. I don't have a degree stating such but I have been working for a year as an allergy/autoimmune tech (that would be considered "immunology" at the hospital) in a reference lab. I love, love my job. It's both automated and manual, I know I am helping people with their test results, there are "office-type" procedures I have to do and overall, I just really enjoy it.

But, now we're moving so I'm on the lookout for yet another job. Praying for another first shift, no holidays, no weekends gig - but not sure that will happen. The two I am most excited about that I've applied for are specialty positions. The number one is with the state and it's a crime scene tech - I would process different substances etc from crime scenes = SO FREAKING COOL! I am psyched about my app being in there and praying I will get it - it's a pay cut from what I'm doing now (it's entry level and I'm currently the acting supervisor of my lab) but it would be SO NEAT! Anyway LOL, I also applied at a couple of other reference labs (testing semen - gross but very interesting) and 1-2 hospital positions.

Hope that helps and any specific questions, let me know
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