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How to Become a Medical Technician in Alabama

Steps to become a Medical Technician in Alabama

Early on in high school, aspiring medical technicians should concentrate on courses such as chemistry and biology. Students should also register for any electives dealing with the life sciences such as upper level anatomy and physiology courses. After high school, students should enroll in a community college that offers associate’s degrees for medical technicians. There are several online and campus based Alabama medical technician schools that offer a two-year associate’s degree. Students may want to take part time jobs as medical lab assistants to gain relevant experience while earning money to pay for college. No formal education is required for assistants, aside from a short certificate program. In Alabama, there seems to be a slightly greater need for medical lab technicians in Gadsden, Florence, and Birmingham, so enrolling at a community college at or near these cities would be wise.

After college, medical technicians must pass a certification exam in order to be licensed MLTs. Some major national licensing boards for medical and clinical technicians are the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), and the Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts.The ASCP’s contact information is given below.

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel: 1 800 267-2727
Fax: (312) 541-4845

The following are the steps to be certified by the ASCP:

  1. Fill out the certification application form for MLTs at the ASCP website. The forms include verifications of education and all prior work experience. The application fee is $185.
  2. Once the application has been processed, the ASCP will send an admission letter allowing the applicant to sit for the examination, which will be administered on a computer at a Pearson Professional Center. Applicants have three months from the day that they receive their admission letter to take the exam. There are Pearson testing centers in Alabama at Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Mobile, and Montgomery. The exam is a multiple choice exam with 100 items. Test takers have two and a half hours to complete the exam. The minimum passing score is 400 out of 999. Test takers who fail the exam may not take the exam again during the same three months of their failed attempt and only have five total chances to pass the exam.
  3. Within ten days of taking the exam, applicants should have their scores. If they pass, applicants will be awarded their certifications in 4-6 weeks.

ASCP certifications for MLTs are valid for three years. In order to renew their certifications, MLTs must participate in a Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) at some point during their three year certification period. Continuing education courses, self-instructional courses, and other educational activities will be part of the CMP.

Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Medical Technicians in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Huntsville, Alabama may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including Huntsville Hospital, Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, Saint Vincent's Birmingham, and Dekalb Regional Medical Center.

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