Thomasville- Thomas University just received national accreditation for its medical technology degree program. That allows students to take a national registry exam that they have to pass in order to work in the profession.
With the high tech equipment in hospital labs, it's no wonder why medical technology students like Vickie Smith are in such high demand. "My goals are to obtain my bachelor's degree, and maybe one day do supervisor's work. Maybe become a supervisor," she says.
Smith already has an associate's degree in medical technology. But to help earn that supervisor's position, she had to look to Thomas University. "When I finished my MLT, I was always wondering what I'm going to do next. I knew I had to do something. And all of a sudden this program just came up," says Smith.
Med techs are the detectives of the laboratory. TU program director Jill Dennis says they help doctors help you. "We're actually assisting the physicians and nurses, providing the results of the tests that they order," says Dennis.
Now that TU has it's MedTech accreditation, it's students are even more of a wanted commodity, needed to help fill a staffing shortage similar to the nursing industry's. "Our shortage is just as critical, because hospitals can't survive without somebody running those tests," says Dennis.
The accreditation also gives med tech students more career options. They're not simply pigeonholed in hospitals. "They can work in blood centers, research facilities, they can go into the criminal scenes, the criminal labs. They can also work in different manufacturing," says Dennis.
MedTech's like Smith are entering a noble field, but like any other job with deadlines, it can become stressful. However, it can also be rewarding. "It makes me feel real good knowing that I can help," says Smith. And the best part about that is, Med Techs can help in dozens of departments within a single lab.
Thomas University is home to one of only three accredited med-tech programs in Georgia. Theirs is a bridge-over partnership with Southwest Georgia Technical college. MedTech hopefuls must have a 2 year degree before signing-up with TU.