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What is Medical Technology?
A Biomedical Technologist (A.K.A. medical technologist) works in a laboratory, and analyses specimens from the human body
- E.g. blood, bone marrow, tissue, pus, urine, stools, various swabs
- The specimens are analysed in the 4 major disciplines, à Microbiology (impact of microorganisms on or in the human body), Chemical Pathology (examines the normal and abnormal chemistry changes of the body), Cellular Pathology (abnormal changes in cells and tissues due to disease), and Haematology (study of blood and blood diseases)
Aside from the 4 main disciplines, med techs can also specialise in the following:
- Blood transfusion (testing blood/tissue for compatibility from donor to patient)
- Cytogenetics or Human genetics (study of genes, and genetic changes that occur in specific diseases)
- Virology (study of viruses and their impact on the human body)
- Immunology (study of the immune system and its reaction to disease)
How do you go about becoming a Medical Technologist?
- Complete 2 ½ years studies at University
- If you pass all subjects, you then complete 6 months of work integrated learning (WIL) at a lab
- If you pass the WIL section, you will then have a ND: Biomedical Technology
- You are then required to do a 12 month internship at a lab in your chosen field
- Then register and write the National Board Exam in your chosen field
- After passing (now qualified), you will have to register with the HPCSA as a Medical Technologist
- You will be required to "work back" 18 months at the lab you interned at
What fields can you specialise in for the Biomedical Technology National Board Exam?
- Clinical Pathology (haematology, microbiology and chemical pathology)
- Microbiology Specials
- Haematology Specials
- Chemical Pathology Specials
- Human Genetics
- Blood Transfusion
The unsung heroes of the health care system… Medical Technologists
A medical technologist works in a laboratory and analyses specimens from the human body, e.g. blood, urine, etc. Med techs are vital to the overall health care system, as doctors rely on laboratory test results to make informed patient diagnoses. Patient history along with physical signs and symptoms are vital, but most diagnoses need confirmation that only laboratory tests can provide. These laboratory professionals also contribute to wellness testing, guide treatment, and monitor progress of patients.