What Do Health Technologist and Technicians Do?
When it comes to healthcare, health technologists and technicians play a major role in ensuring patients receive the care they need. This field includes positions like neurodiagnostic technologists, ophthalmic medical technologists, radiologic technicians, and surgical assistants. These professionals administer tests using medical equipment, interpret data from patient histories and test results, assist other health professionals with procedures and communicate with patients.In the United States, there are projected to be approximately 3,310 new job openings each year for health technologists and technicians, resulting in a 27% increase in people employed in the field between 2012 and 2022.
Health Technologists and Technicians Skills and Abilities
In order to provide healthcare services to patients, health technologists and technicians must be able to communicate in a sensitive and thorough manner. You will also need to function well on a team under supervision since most roles in this field respond to the requests of a physician. Expertise in the use of medical tools and equipment is necessary as well, although the instruments used will vary based on the specific role. A strong framework of biological knowledge is also helpful.
Health Technologists and Technicians Duties
Your duties start with communicating with the physician or other provider from whom you determine what needs to be done with each patient. You will be expected to interact with patients both verbally and physically in order to facilitate care. This may include questioning the patient about his or her medical history, explaining procedures to patients and families or manually assisting patient positioning on an exam or operating table. You will also record and file patient information. Some positions require administrative work such as calling patients for follow-ups, scheduling appointments and training new employees. If the position requires working with computerized medical equipment, you may also need to handle troubleshooting and maintenance.
Health Technologists and Technicians Tools and Technology
Most jobs in the medical field require extensive use of computers, and health technologists and technicians are no different. You will conduct most administrative and clerical work on computers, and many of these positions require the use of specialized computers and machines to measure various aspects of the health of the human body. Some examples are electroencephalographs, x-rays, CAT scanning equipment, exophthalmometers, lasers and ultrasound machines. You may also use surgical tools such as scalpels, clamps and sterilizers.
Education and Training for Health Technologists and Technicians
Almost all health technologists and technicians have a high school diploma, and a college degree is often not required to enter the field. Specialized training is required, however, in order to become qualified for an entry-level position. Extensive work experience prior to being hired is usually not needed, and you will rarely need further on-the-job training once you begin working.
Health Technologists and Technicians Salary
Health technologists and technicians make a wide range of salaries. The bottom 10% in this field in the United States earn about $26,500 per year while the top 10% make about $70,100 per year. The median salary is $41,400 per year.
Health Technologists and Technicians Jobs by Geography
California, Ohio and Illinois are the top three employers of health technologists and technicians, but the job market is growing the fastest in several southern and western states – Alabama, New Mexico and Utah are the top three in terms of percentage growth. If you’re looking for the best pay for your work, Minnesota pays the best on average with Vermont and Connecticut coming in second and third, respectively. General medical and surgical hospitals employ the vast majority of health technologists and technicians, but depending where you seek employment, individual physicians offices may have the most job growth.