Medical Services and Technologies

Medical services and technologies can include medical examinations and surgeries, diagnostic testing and wellness programs. Read on to learn more about medical services, as well as career and educational options for medical and health information technicians and clinical lab technicians and technologists.

Are Medical Services and Technologies for Me?

Career Overview

Medical technology refers to products used in the healthcare industry to survey patients' health and well-being, as well as diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. Medical technologies can include x-rays, MRIs, body scans, biofeedback and laboratory technologies. Potential job titles include project manager, technology manager and medical informatics officer, to name a few.

You might also decide you wish to work with medical databases as a medical coding specialist who creates codes for diagnoses and maintains electronic health records (EHR) or as a cancer registrar who maintains the databases containing cancer patients' information. Additional opportunities include positions analyzing tissues, blood and other bodily fluids as a lab technologists or technician. You can expect to work in such settings as hospitals, outpatient care facilities and doctors' offices.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for medical records and health information technicians could grow 22% from 2012-2022. As of May 2013, these professionals earned a median wage of $34,970.

Medical and clinical laboratory technicians could see a 30% employment increase during this 10-year period, while medical and clinical laboratory technologists were expected to see a 14% job growth. Technicians earned median salaries of $37,970 in 2012, while technologists earned $58,430, per BLS figures.

How Can I Work in Medical Services and Technologies?

Undergraduate Programs

If you're considering a career as a medical records or health information technician, you'll need a certificate or associate degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. For instance, an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program often includes courses in healthcare law and ethics, diagnostic and procedure coding, anatomy and physiology, organizational resources and healthcare statistics.

Medical and clinical laboratory technicians must earn an associate degree in clinical laboratory science. These programs often include coursework in the areas of immunology, biotechnology and hematology in addition to several clinical practicums. Medical and clinical laboratory technologists, on the other hand, are generally required to hold a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory technology. In addition to courses in microbiology, organic chemistry and clinical lab methods, these 4-year programs require numerous courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Graduate Programs

Master's degree programs in medical and healthcare information technologies are also available and are designed for current and aspiring healthcare professionals looking to take on managerial positions in this area. The goal of these degree programs is to help you explore how technology can improve patient medical records, financial transactions and health informatics.

You should also expect to study the uses of technology to improve the efficiency of diagnostic and treatment processes. Coursework may include the study of healthcare systems, financial analysis, regulatory environments, medical language and electronic health records systems.

Master's degree programs in clinical laboratory science are also available to bachelor's degree program graduates who'd like to study advanced topics in clinical oncology, molecular biotechnology and laboratory management. These programs can also improve your managerial skills and prepare you for a position as a supervisor or administrator.

Professional Certifications

If you've already completed your medical records or health information technician training, you could earn one of several voluntary professional certifications preferred by employers. The Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential, for example, requires passing scores on an exam after completing an approved associate degree program.

As an aspiring clinical laboratory technician or technologist, however, you might be required to earn state licensure. In many cases, this process entails receiving professional certification from such agencies as the American Society for Clinical Pathology or the American Medical Technologists after passing a written exam.

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