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  1. #11
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    If you like interacting with people, you'd be much better off becoming a Physicians Assistant (PA). It takes almost as long (two years), pays a bit better, but also costs a lot more ($80k for the program). PAs see patients everyday, while MLTs and MLSs rarely see patients.

  2. #12
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Scott-reconsider the medical field and instead think biotech.

    My company makes equipment that is used in life science research and diagnostics.

    Many of our QA and regulatory folks are former med techs. They are almost all ISTJs with an ESTJ outlier. The reason for this type inclination is that med techs do the same thing everyday-over and over and over again. They must do it exceptionally well-the results of their tests determine patient treatment and if they mess up someone could die. They are typically away from patients in a lab doing bench work. MTs are demographically a population of 40+ women and automation is rapidly replacing their jobs. There is little potential for advancement.

    You would love being a PA I think, but those positions were highly competitive last I heard. (But it has been several years, that could have changed given the upcoming health care reforms.) I have now doubt you are clever enough to get into the programs but you might have to extra coursework and do so internships. Check this out though. A really odd totally out there Ne suggestion-maybe a midwife/doula? I cant help but snicker a little-but this option allows a very close interaction with people, without going to med school. I would love to do something like this myself actually. Ask aphrodite.

    Have you considered becoming an Applications Specialist for an optics company? This is a nice position to transition into straight out of university as it is fairly hands on, but customer focused-yet requires the ability to interact with PhD level scientists and appear competent. Check out many of the optics companies-they may have these positions available.

    Also-if you are on the west coast you might be able to jump straight into biotech for an instrument company. Check out companies like Bio-rad which manufacture their own instrumentation. Also Illumina. They may have internal engineering positions you might be qualified to move into as well, learn the trade and then move on towards more customer facing opporunities. You might also qualify for tech support positions. Tech support sounds horrible, but in biotech typically tech support is staffed by PhDs and the customers are scientists. I actually much enjoyed helping them-it gave me a sense of "service" to others that I enjoyed. There are massive numbers of small biotech companies that are start-ups where you could dive right in. There is a huge demand on the west coast for bio-tech employees and given that there are so many opportunities, the workers can be quite choosy thus the employers must be accomodating.

    Another option-can you find an internship at one of the above biotech companies? The often offer paid internships, not well paying, but to allow you to build experience in the industry, even if they will not hire you right out of school.

    Also-you may consider spending another six months doing short term work in a biochemistry lab at the university-this experience will allow you to build experience as well.

    Another thought-can you do some work in an fMRI lab on campus? I honestly know very little about jobs in hospitals but in research you might be an ideal fit for this sort of position and really enjoy the focus of the research-typically psychological.

    Sorry, I hope some of that was of some use. It is a total Ne dump. Hugs!

  3. #13
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    Then they are assuming that you have already completed a NAACLS-MLS program and the prerequisites. Many people study for the ASCP certification exam for a few months, before taking it.

    Or, they want you to take the AMT certification. The AMT, a rival to the ASCP, is being phased out. The hospitals that still employ AMT techs pay very little. Further, the ASCP is exam is required for licensure in states like New York and California.


    Unfortunately, unrelated coursework will be ignored. Your previous experience will help you get into a NAACLS program, but you cannot apply until you have completed the prerequisites:

    A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university including courses in biological science (16 semester hours), chemistry (16 semester hours) and mathematics (8 semester hours) AND successful completion of a NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Scientist program within the last 5 years;

    You can either fill in the missing prerequisites at a junior college, or start out as an MLT. Either way, you need to obtain the correct background.

    ---

    Without certification, your pay will be seriously stunted, and many hospitals/states will not hire you.
    Everything you say may very well be true, I don't know yet. I'm still very early on in the investigation stages, and I will have to ask the specific hospital in question about these things. Colorado tends to more lax than most states about most things, that may help me out here...


    what about medical imaging with lasers, and medical OCT [optical coherence tomography]??? Does the first actually exist in hospitals yet, and who job title actually does the second?

  4. #14
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    If you like interacting with people, you'd be much better off becoming a Physicians Assistant (PA). It takes almost as long (two years), pays a bit better, but also costs a lot more ($80k for the program). PAs see patients everyday, while MLTs and MLSs rarely see patients.

    A good point. My older coworker mentioned that if he were my age, he'd go medical instead of tech ["tech pays well, but doesn't give one shit about you, they'll drop you the moment they no longer have a use for you, but while they do have a use for you they generally pay quite well"]. Fwiw, said coworker said I'd make a very good doctor

    I'd prefer not to go back to school though, I already spent 10.5 yrs in college.


    I'm back and forth about wanting to deal directly with patients or not. I liek dealing with people, but given that people are their to see you cuz there in bad situations, I'm okay with working "behind the scenes". To a decent extent, I enjoy working with equipment, and can do well in SJ environments.
    I think this could be a foot in the door, and then I could go from there. It'd be in a city I like, and let me live in a nearby, cheaper, town. I thought this link was very interesting, Health Careers Spotlight - Medical Laboratory Technician, the bottom part is interviewing a guy in the field about his work, I liked all of his answers.



    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Scott-reconsider the medical field and instead think biotech.

    My company makes equipment that is used in life science research and diagnostics.

    Many of our QA and regulatory folks are former med techs. They are almost all ISTJs with an ESTJ outlier. The reason for this type inclination is that med techs do the same thing everyday-over and over and over again. They must do it exceptionally well-the results of their tests determine patient treatment and if they mess up someone could die. They are typically away from patients in a lab doing bench work. MTs are demographically a population of 40+ women and automation is rapidly replacing their jobs. There is little potential for advancement.

    You would love being a PA I think, but those positions were highly competitive last I heard. (But it has been several years, that could have changed given the upcoming health care reforms.) I have now doubt you are clever enough to get into the programs but you might have to extra coursework and do so internships. Check this out though. A really odd totally out there Ne suggestion-maybe a midwife/doula? I cant help but snicker a little-but this option allows a very close interaction with people, without going to med school. I would love to do something like this myself actually. Ask aphrodite.

    Have you considered becoming an Applications Specialist for an optics company? This is a nice position to transition into straight out of university as it is fairly hands on, but customer focused-yet requires the ability to interact with PhD level scientists and appear competent. Check out many of the optics companies-they may have these positions available.

    Also-if you are on the west coast you might be able to jump straight into biotech for an instrument company. Check out companies like Bio-rad which manufacture their own instrumentation. Also Illumina. They may have internal engineering positions you might be qualified to move into as well, learn the trade and then move on towards more customer facing opporunities. You might also qualify for tech support positions. Tech support sounds horrible, but in biotech typically tech support is staffed by PhDs and the customers are scientists. I actually much enjoyed helping them-it gave me a sense of "service" to others that I enjoyed. There are massive numbers of small biotech companies that are start-ups where you could dive right in. There is a huge demand on the west coast for bio-tech employees and given that there are so many opportunities, the workers can be quite choosy thus the employers must be accomodating.

    Another option-can you find an internship at one of the above biotech companies? The often offer paid internships, not well paying, but to allow you to build experience in the industry, even if they will not hire you right out of school.

    Also-you may consider spending another six months doing short term work in a biochemistry lab at the university-this experience will allow you to build experience as well.

    Another thought-can you do some work in an fMRI lab on campus? I honestly know very little about jobs in hospitals but in research you might be an ideal fit for this sort of position and really enjoy the focus of the research-typically psychological.

    Sorry, I hope some of that was of some use. It is a total Ne dump. Hugs!
    Thanks Orobas. Yes, I'm open to biotech too. Boulder has quite abit of it. One of my friends works for a biotech company and regularly trying to recruit me to work with him. At the time I wanted to be where I am [employer-wise], but times have changed...

    As mentioned above, I was in school for quite some time, but I've been out of it for like 2.5 yrs now, so I'm not currently in school.

    When you say West Coast do you mostly mean California, or California+Portland+seattle? I'm potentially open to moving, but would rather stay here in Co. Are there any biotech companies in Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins etc that you know of that you'd recommend I'd check out?

    One thought about staying in high tech companies: I've spent more than enough time working with or for PhD physicists, and want nothing to do with that. Laser applications would be awesome, but involved detailed nuts and bolts of how one makes lasers or designing crazy-involved laser imaging systems, I don't think so.

  5. #15
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Everything you say may very well be true, I don't know yet. I'm still very early on in the investigation stages, and I will have to ask the specific hospital in question about these things. Colorado tends to more lax than most states about most things, that may help me out here...


    what about medical imaging with lasers, and medical OCT [optical coherence tomography]??? Does the first actually exist in hospitals yet, and who job title actually does the second?
    Most imaging technologies have a specifically-trained tech. There are X-Ray techs, CT techs, etc.

    With your background, you could likely help in the development of such technologies in industry, but you would need specific certifications to use them in a hospital.

    It might seem redundant, but that's just how the system works.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    A good point. My older coworker mentioned that if he were my age, he'd go medical instead of tech ["tech pays well, but doesn't give one shit about you, they'll drop you the moment they no longer have a use for you, but while they do have a use for you they generally pay quite well"]. Fwiw, said coworker said I'd make a very good doctor

    I'd prefer not to go back to school though, I already spent 10.5 yrs in college.
    I don't blame you...part of the draw to the MLS, for me, is that I can utilize my undergraduate education (microbiology) without spending 7 years getting a PhD.

    At least in the near future (10+ years), there will be an increasing shortage of certified techs, so you won't need to fear recession.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I'm back and forth about wanting to deal directly with patients or not. I liek dealing with people, but given that people are their to see you cuz there in bad situations, I'm okay with working "behind the scenes". To a decent extent, I enjoy working with equipment, and can do well in SJ environments.
    The way I see it, the majority of patients a doctor sees will not be in good moods, and dealing with grumpy/demanding/upset people every day would exhaust me.

    Tissue samples don't talk back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I think this could be a foot in the door, and then I could go from there. It'd be in a city I like, and let me live in a nearby, cheaper, town. I thought this link was very interesting, Health Careers Spotlight - Medical Laboratory Technician, the bottom part is interviewing a guy in the field about his work, I liked all of his answers.
    It is an excellent stepping stone into healthcare-related fields, and in the long-term, I intend to use it as such. Demonstrating the precision, accuracy, and judgment necessary to release life-or-death test results daily is valuable in the market.

    I'm hoping, in the long-term, to work my way into Hospital Administration or Epidemiology, with the help of a MBA or MS.

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