Med Tech Programs: How to Become a Medical Technician

Learn all about med tech programs and how to become a medical technician through a variety of degree and certification options.
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Medical Technician Career Facts

Medical Technician Programs, Degrees and Certificates

Becoming a medical technician can lead to a lucrative career that may be a great option for you.

Understanding the steps for you to take to be one will help you decide of a medical technician program is for you.

A medical technician is a general term that covers a broad spectrum of professions including, for example, medical technicians and surgical technicians. Med techs and surgical techs need to finish an associate’s degree before they can find employment.

However, community colleges and technical schools also offer shorter medical technician certificate courses so you can find work immediately in other medical technician roles.

However, you can’t be admitted into these programs if you don’t have a background in healthcare or if you are not currently employed.

There are also diploma programs that only require that you graduate from high school or have a GED.

If you need a job right away, a certificate program can give you a head start. You can specialize in phlebotomy, for instance, which will provide you a good source of income while you consider your career advancement options.

What are Certificate and Diploma Programs?

A diploma or certificate program is a short course that you can finish in a year or less. The curriculum is designed to allow students to focus on one area only to develop expertise. In a sense, when they graduate, they have limited options of what job they can apply for.

An example of developing one area of expertise is the Phlebotomy Certificate Course from the Bunker Hill Community College. Among the subjects you will encounter are:

  • Phlebotomy Theory
  • Laboratory training
  • Medical Terms and Jargon
  • Healthcare Communication Skills
  • Clinical Practicum

The on-the-job training is essential to give you practical training as you are exposed to real-life scenarios. Among the tasks you will learn is office administration and basic computer skills.

What is an Associate’s Degree Program?

Unlike the certificate courses, the associate’s degree typically takes two years to finish. Aside from the medical technician training, you will also earn units on general education like liberal arts.

So what’s the advantage of an associate’s degree when it’s longer than a diploma course?

This course is beneficial if you intend to take a bachelor’s degree in the future. The liberal arts subjects will be credited so you finish your degree in less than four years. You will also learn English grammar and composition, math, science, and other general education subjects.

The Springfield Technical Community College has the following courses for its associate’s degree program on medical lab technician:

  • Intro to Clinical Lab Sciences
  • Fundamentals of Physiology and Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Hematology and Coagulation
  • Urinalysis/Body Fluids
  • Clinical Chemistry

What Can I learn in Med Tech courses?

The courses vary according to your interests and goals. You will learn how to sterilize and disinfect equipment, enhance your communication skills, use the machines to conduct tests, etc.

A certificate program, as mentioned, will provide you with a solid foundation on medical technology with a high focus on your field of specialization. For example, if you want to become a surgical technician, you will learn more about pharmacology. If you want to learn more about phlebotomy, you will study the physiology of blood and how to extract blood from a patient.

Among the subjects you will encounter include:

  • Safe clinical procedures
  • Lab testing and mathematics
  • Computer technology
  • Preparation of slides
  • Operation and maintenance of equipment
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell structures
  • Ethics
  • Anomalies and identification

Do Medical Technician Programs Need Accreditation?

A medical technician’s course needs accreditation for it to be recognized by employers in the healthcare industry. The accreditation serves as proof of the quality of your training and education.

Schools also need to apply for accreditation so they can offer medical technician programs. They have to undergo a strict screening process before they can secure a certification.

So make sure that you first find out if the school is accredited before you enroll in the program.

What’s the reason for this?

Well, mainly because you can’t be certified if your school is not accredited. That means you would have wasted all those weeks, months, and years for nothing.

Second, you can also gain access to loan programs, financial assistance, and scholarships if you go to an accredited school.

Your school should be accredited by one of the following national or regional accrediting organizations.

National Accrediting Bodies

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • National Accrediting Agency For Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

Regional Accrediting Bodies

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

If you are interested in med tech programs then click the blue find schools button to compare medical technician schools.

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