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Medical Technologist

Analyze and test samples of body tissues and fluids to detect diseases.

What does a Medical Technologist do?

If you’re more interested in a patient’s blood type than their life story, then the position of medical technologist may be the job for you. Since you rarely have to interact with patients face to face in this role, you can focus on the practical matters of testing and analyzing their bodily fluids and tissue samples.

Your technical expertise is needed whenever doctors order tests to help detect, diagnose, and treat diseases in their patients. You’re behind the scenes looking into microscopes, running computerized testing equipment, and operating complex machines such as MRI scanners. As a medical technologist, you focus on one type of procedure, but with rapidly evolving technology, there’s always something new to learn. And besides just carefully going through the steps of each procedure, you’ll be analyzing the results as well.

Although you’re not a doctor, the work you do definitely saves lives. Depending on your specialty, you might match up blood types for transfusion, count blood cells in cancer patients, identify parasites in stool samples, or determine which stage of HIV or Hepatitis a patient is at. This is the kind of work that modern medicine increasingly relies on, so medical technologists are in great demand.

Even though you might be tucked away in a laboratory setting, you do have face-to-face interaction; you’ll be discussing test results with doctors, supervising medical technicians, and possibly preparing patients for procedures like CT scans.