Online Master's Degree in Medical Technology
Learn about your options for attending an online medical technology or an online medical laboratory science master's program. Also, explore common coursework and admission requirements for these programs.
Information for Online Medical Technology Master's Programs
Online master's degrees in the field of medical technology are somewhat rare, yet students who wish to earn an advanced degree and further their careers as clinical laboratory technologists may consider online medical laboratory science master's programs. Both types of programs take about 1.5-2 years to complete, if attending full-time, and share a similar focus on developing your knowledge of biology, chemistry, healthcare, and laboratory management. Below, you can explore some common coursework topics that are included in medical technology and medical laboratory science master's programs.
Within your program, you may be required to take a foundational course that covers the subject of biochemistry within a medicine-related context. Here, you generally learn the basics of biochemistry, or the chemistry of biological substances, and cover such topics as protein structures, metabolism, carbohydrates, thermodynamics, and lipids. Some courses might also include the study of the mechanisms and structures of respiratory enzymes, hydrolytic enzymes, bio-oxidations, and complex molecules.
You might also take a course that centers on the different aspects of clinical microbiology, including various diagnostic techniques that could also touch on such fields as mycology, virology, and/or parasitology. Some courses help you develop technical clinical skills, such as how to process, culture, and identify specimens, as well as lab management skills. Other course topics may touch on infectious diseases, vaccines, bioterrorism, and antimicrobial testing.
Another course often included in medical technology and medical laboratory science master's programs is that of immunology, which is the study of the immune systems of humans and other living organisms. The overall goal of these courses is to help you understand how the immune system functions and how it reacts to infection agents, autoimmune diseases, and even transplantations. Specific topics you may study include abnormal and normal immune responses, antigens/antibody reactions, immunoglobulins, microbial physiology, and microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses.
Hematology and Hematopathology
It's possible you could also take a course on hematology, which is the study of the cause and treatment of different blood diseases and disorders, as well as a course on hematopathology, which is related to diseases that affect blood cells. In a hematology course, you may study pathophysiology, laboratory testing diagnosis, and treatment methods for such things as leukemias, anemias, and lymphomas. A hematopathology course may cover similar topics in addition to platelets and platelet disorders, blood coagulation disorders, and myeloproliferative disorders.
Clinical Laboratory Management
To aid you in developing management and administrative skills in a lab environment, you might take a course that explores managerial and business subjects within a clinical laboratory framework. Most courses cover a range of topics, such as managing and monitoring laboratory diagnostics, overseeing quality management, and conducting human resource management. Many courses also examine regulatory issues, including compliance, accreditation, and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement.
Healthcare Financial Management
Similar to lab management, you might take a financial management course that helps you understand the financial side of managing and running a laboratory. In this type of course, you might study such things as budgeting, financial planning, cost accounting, and supplies management. You might also cover such areas as setting laboratory fees, managing salaries, and contracting.
Admissions Requirements for Medical Technology Master's Programs
To apply to a medical technology or medical laboratory science master's program, you must already hold a bachelor's degree. While some programs have no preference as to the type of degree, some medical technology programs require a bachelor's degree in medical technology or biology, and medical laboratory science programs may require a bachelor's degree in clinical or medical laboratory science. Further, many programs require that you have earned certification as a medical laboratory scientist (MLS), a clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), a medical technologist (MT), or a medical laboratory technician (MLT). Some programs also require or prefer that you have some professional clinical laboratory experience. Other application materials may include GRE scores (for some programs), transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay or letter of intent.
Students interested in pursuing an online master's degree in medical technology have very few options; however, there are numerous online medical laboratory science master's programs, and these prepare students for the same type of careers. Medical technology and medical laboratory science master's programs also have similar common coursework requirements, including classes on microbiology, immunology, hematology, and laboratory management practices.