When a patient has blood drawn, the sample is sent to a lab where a medical technologist analyzes it, looking for any abnormalities. Medical technologists also run tests on and analyze other bodily fluids such as urine and body tissue to diagnose diseases and medical conditions. Women make up 72 percent of all medical technologists and technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those technologists wanting to work internationally must first earn the international medical technologist certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification.
Meeting the Eligibility Requirements
Earning the international certificate starts with meeting certain eligibility requirements. The ASCP allows candidates to choose from one of five education routes. The first route requires a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, biological science or chemistry, and completion of a medical laboratory training program that includes blood banking, chemistry, hematology and microbiology. Route two asks for a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and three years of professional experience in a clinical laboratory, while route three mandates a bachelor’s degree in any degree and a two-year medical laboratory program. If you have a bachelor’s degree in any biological science field and at least five years of experience you qualify for route four, and if you have a bachelor’s degree in any field with an associate degree in biological science and five years of experience, you fit the requirements for route five.
Checking Off Other Requirements
After you determine which educational and experience route fits your education and experience, you can start checking off the other certification requirements. These include submitting an online application and paying the $200 application fee. You’ll also have to turn in documentation, such as transcripts and work documentation forms, that prove you meet the educational and experience requirements in one of the five routes.
Taking the Test
When you’ve submitted your application and the ASCP has determined you meet all the requirements, you can schedule your test at a Pearson computer testing center. You must take the exam within three months of ASCP accepting your application. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and you’ll have two hours and 30 minutes to complete it. To help students prepare, the ASCP offers free study materials, including reading lists, study guides, online practice tests and exam content lists.
Maintaining the Credential
Once you earn the designation, your work isn’t over; you have to maintain the credential by taking part in the ASCP’s Certification Maintenance Program. As part of the CMP, you must renew your certification every three years by paying a renewal fee and submitting a declaration form stating your intent to renew. You’ll also have to earn 36 points during those three years. Points come from taking a variety of courses; candidates must earn at least one point in laboratory safety and patient safety, and two points each in blood banking, hematology, chemistry and microbiology. The other points can come from other courses or pathology-related activities such as seminars, workshops and conferences.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: 2012 Annual Averages Household Data
- American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification: International Medical Technologist
- American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification: International Medical Technologist Certification
- American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification: International Procedure Booklet
- American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification: International Certification Maintenance Program Booklet
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.