Medical Technologists (often called Clinical Laboratory Scientists or Medical Laboratory Scientists) develop and perform a broad range of laboratory tests which are essential to the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of many diseases. They are held accountable for the accuracy of the test results, correct errors, and have the knowledge of biology, chemistry and pathology necessary to interpret these tests. They also consult with other professionals concerning the medical significance of these procedures. Medical Technologists are an integral part of the health care management team and routinely work with other health care professionals to develop and implement health care policy. Some of the exciting areas of Medical Technology are Hematology, Immunology, Bacteriology, Parasitology, Clinical Chemistry, Blood Banking, Toxicology, and Management. Sometimes results are factual, definite and complete, but results can pose other questions, or serve as "hyphens" between the questions and answers of medical research. The Medical Technology curriculum is designed for students who are preparing for careers as clinical specialists who design, perform, evaluate, and supervise biological, chemical, and other clinically related tests. Job opportunities for these specialists exist in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, industries, and educational institutions.
The American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) began the accreditation of Programs in Medical Technology in 1933. Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (the forerunner of Louisiana Tech University) became a pioneer in this field when it began its Program in Medical Technology in 1937. Today, it remains one of the longest continually operating Medical Technology programs in the country, with over 1500 graduates from throughout the U.S. and abroad completing its baccalaureate degree program since its inception. Most are professionally certified by ASCP or other credentialing agencies as Medical Technologists (Clinical Laboratory Scientists). In 1987, the Louisiana State Board of Regents recognized the Louisiana Tech Program as being in the top 1% of academic programs in the State of Louisiana and presented it with its prestigious Board of Regents Commendation of Excellence. Graduates of the Program currently staff virtually every clinical laboratory in the state and many serve as Laboratory Directors, Clinical Scientists, Section Supervisors, and Health Science Educators. Over 30% of the graduates have completed additional graduate or additional professional degree programs in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Clinical Chemistry, Parasitology, Toxicology, Education, Management/Business, Pharmacy, Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, or Veterinary Medicine.
Laboratory tests play an important role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of most diseases. Medical Technologists perform the more complex analyses, and are held accountable for the accuracy of test results generated in the total laboratory environment. In doing so, they make fine line discriminations, correct errors, establish and monitor quality assurance programs, design and/or modify laboratory procedures, recognize interdependency of tests, and have knowledge of the pathophysiology required to interpret these tests and consult with physicians as to the medical significance of them. Medical Technologists are also an integral part of the Healthcare Management Team and routinely work with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement healthcare policy. Though most Medical Technologists work in the healthcare setting, the educational and professional requirements for Medical Technologists are such that many graduates elect to pursue careers in biomedical research, environmental science testing laboratories, other industrial-based laboratories, healthcare management, and education.
Educational programs in Medical Technology include 3 years of pre-professional course work which is completed on the Louisiana Tech University campus. The senior year is completed in one of six Louisiana Tech University affiliated, hospital-based clinical programs. Admission to these programs is on a competitive basis. Students who successfully complete the academic program graduate with the B.S. in Medical Technolgy, and are eligible to sit for a nationally-recognized credentialing examination in Medical Technology.
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