By earning your associate’s degree in medical technology, you will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to run diagnostics and analysis on bodily fluids and tissue. There are several levels at which you can obtain a degree in this field, starting with the associate and going all the way up to master. In this article, we’re going to take a look at these levels, with a focus on the medical technologist associate’s degree in Chicago.

An introduction to the profession

During your training to become a medical technologist, you will encounter topics that will cover cell structures, clinical instrumentation, and medical laboratory procedures. These topics will be presented in both theoretical and practical form. In terms of specializations, you have molecular genetics, immunology, and microbiology, and these are studied at the higher levels of the degree.

In order to participate in an associate program, you will require a high school diploma. The program lasts two years, with bachelor’s programs lasting up to four. However, students can opt into accelerated programs at certain universities. Students who go on to study for their master’s degree will go through coursework that will prepare them to become laboratory managers.

The associate level of medical technologist programs in Chicago

The two-year associate level degree will prepare you for an entry-level position as a medical technician. During your studies, you will learn how to conduct and analyze tissue, blood, and bodily fluids in order to determine if any foreign organisms or disease-causing abnormalities are present. The courses will include both classes on theory and laboratory work.

In terms of educational prerequisites, some knowledge of biology, health science, chemistry, and mathematics is generally required. However, you will not require any previous laboratory experience outside of what is generally provided in high school.

The coursework will mostly focus on chemistry, biology, the proper use/maintenance of laboratory equipment, and specimen collection. In many programs, you will also encounter general courses that will cover subjects such as the humanities and writing skills. Some specific topics of study for the major will include general biology, clinical instrumentation, clinical chemistry, immunology, and diagnostic microbiology.

The benefits of furthering your studies

After earning your associate’s degree, you can further your studies and obtain a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. The bachelor’s degree will widen your skill set, prepare you to perform a greater variety of tests, and train you to use more sophisticated equipment. Your job options will also expand, and at this point, you will be qualified to work as a medical technologist. The degree will take two additional years to complete if you transfer the credits from your associate’s degree. The coursework will cover topics such as cell structure and function, genetics, clinical microscopy, hematology, and molecular biology.

A master’s degree will add two more years of learning to your studies, and you will have the option to specialize in an area of medical technology or conduct advanced research in an academic setting or at a private organization. For some programs, you may require an ASCP certification, but you will be allowed to complete the certification during your first year of study. At this stage, the coursework will cover topics such as computer-based instrumentation, healthcare financial operations, protein chemistry, virology, and enzymology.

Are you interested in attending a medical technologist program in Chicago?

Medical technologist programs will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to perform well in a medical laboratory setting. If this is a career you are interested in, then the first step you need to take is to enroll in a university and earn your degree. Contact us for more information regarding the tuition fees, coursework, and requirements today.