How do I Become a Hospital Technician?

Margo Upson
Margo Upson

A hospital technician works in the lab of a hospital. He is responsible for running tests, and interpreting the results. This is a position that requires a lot of education and training. Hospital technicians need to excel in math and science, have a firm grasp of medical knowledge, and be able to learn new techniques quickly. Those who want to become a hospital technician should be good at math and science, and able to learn, and later recall, a lot of technical knowledge.

Hospital technicians are responsible for running tests and interpreting the results, so they must excel in math and science.
Hospital technicians are responsible for running tests and interpreting the results, so they must excel in math and science.

High school students who want to become a hospital technician should take a lot of math and science courses. Many hospital technicians have a two year degree, though most have attended a four year college, and some have a master's degree. There are several colleges that offer medical technician degrees. Students will learn how to work medical equipment, perform tests, and to understand test results. They will also learn a lot of human biology, chemistry, and about safety in the laboratory.

Continuing your education by attending courses and seminars is part of being a hospital technician.
Continuing your education by attending courses and seminars is part of being a hospital technician.

Several hospital technician programs are set up so that the student gets three years of classes and one year of residency. During the last year, students work in a local hospital, getting on-the-job experience. There are rotations through different labs and positions. This is an important year, as it provides the student with the experience that they need to find a job after graduation. During this time, students are encouraged to ask questions and get the most out of the experience that they can.

Hospital technicians must know how to test for a number of diseases and conditions.
Hospital technicians must know how to test for a number of diseases and conditions.

After graduation, students are able to begin applying for jobs in hospitals. There are two ways that new hospital technicians can improve their chances of getting a job at one of the best hospitals. The first way is to become certified through the American Society of Clinical Pathology. The second way is to apply for credentials through the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA). To become certified through the NCA, technicians must pass an exam. NCA certification puts technicians ahead of other non-certified technicians for competitive job openings, and is one of the fastest ways to become a hospital technician.

A hospital technician works in the lab of a hospital.
A hospital technician works in the lab of a hospital.

A hospital technician needs to be willing to keep learning. A continuing education is part of the job. This means attending courses and seminars, keeping current on the latest research and trends, and being re-certified every few years. The career of hospital technician is one of the best medical careers available, and one that is quickly becoming a popular field. The average salary in the United States is around $44,000 US Dollars, varying by location. Those who want to become a hospital technician can look forward to an exciting career that will provide the opportunity for decent pay and lots of potential.

Hospital technicians must be thoroughly educated and trained.
Hospital technicians must be thoroughly educated and trained.
Medical technicians must have expert knowledge of X-ray equipment.
Medical technicians must have expert knowledge of X-ray equipment.
Margo Upson
Margo Upson

Margo has a varied academic background, which has involved everything from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education. These wide-ranging interests make her an ideal wiseGEEK writer, as she always enjoys becoming an expert on new and unfamiliar topics.

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