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A medical technologist (also known as a 'med tech', medical laboratory scientist, clinical laboratory scientist, lab technologist or any variation thereof) is an allied health professional that analyzes and tests body fluids and tissues. This includes blood, urine, CSF, synovial fluid, all types of tissue samples, and almost anything else you could think of that is removed from a patient for testing. They are responsible for operating and maintaining complex analyzers that are used in a laboratory and ensuring the laboratory results of each patient are accurate and timely. In the United States, a medical technologist is typically certified by a national board of registry for the profession. Some common certification boards include the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB), and the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).
A medical technologist typically holds a bachelors degree and has been through an internship. The internship can either be a portion of the degree program or be done after the laboratorian has already completed their degree. It is usually necessary to obtain certification from one of the above certifying boards in order to become employed. Each of the certifying boards have their own regulations pertaining to education and experience in the field. As of January 2015, 12 states and PR (California, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia) require medical technologists to be licensed. Employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.
Several countries provide information for medical technologists:
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