Colorado Medical Laboratory Technician Training Program
Education for Medical Technicians in Colorado
In 2008, the American Society for Clinical Pathology found that 43% of clinical laboratories surveyed had difficulty finding certified medical laboratory technicians (MLT), with the highest vacancy rates found in outpatient clinics and high-volume testing labs. Hospital labs had the most difficulty recruiting talent, particularly for the day shift. Turnover rates had increased by as much as 27% from the previous year for MLTs.
This is further complicated by expected retirement rates of up to 13% for technically trained baby boomers over the next five years. All this, coupled with increased use of medical services by aging baby boomers, means that laboratory professionals are not being trained fast enough to meet the growing need for medical services.
In Colorado, there were 2,170 medical technicians in 2006. That is expected to increase to 2,660 by 2016. This 23% increase is higher than the national projection of 15% and puts Colorado in the top 10 for expected increases in employment for medical laboratory technicians. Job openings should average about 80 per year with growth and replacement.
Shortages of trained health professionals in Colorado, particularly rural areas, have resulted in statewide initiatives to increase the numbers of students in health care programs. Increased capacity in Colorado medical technician training programs should lead to 2,180 allied health professionals, including MLTs, who will receive degrees in the three years spanning 2008-2011. Many programs offer financial and academic support in addition to flexible programs and distance education options.
Continuing Education Requirements
Recertification requirements for ASCP and ASCLS are the same because they both certify through the ASCP Board of Certification. The CMP is required of all individuals who were certified after January 1, 2004. It must be completed at least two months prior to the expiration of the three-year certificate. Documentation must be completed and submitted with a $75 fee before the two-month deadline. The CMP for MLTs consists of 36 points accumulated in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, safety and specialty areas. Points can come from a variety of sources, which are listed in detail in the CMP information booklet at http://www.ascp.org/cmp.
Certification through AMT is renewed every three years and requires 45 points for MLTs. A Compliance Evaluation Worksheet and Attestation Form must be completed and submitted at the end of the three-year cycle, documenting completion of qualifying activities. There are no additional fees for the CCP, but membership must be maintained annually and a fee is charged for each certification category.