BS in Medical Technology in the Philippines

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Program Overview

BS in Medical Technology (BSMT), also known as as Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science, is a four year degree program that equips students with knowledge and skills in laboratory tests used in the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases. The program consists of general education subjects (such as English and Filipino) and professional subjects (such as Clinical Chemistry and Blood Banking).

You will be taught on how to collect, preserve and analyze specimens such as blood, urine, cells and tissues as well as the preparation of reagents (compounds or substances added to a specimen in order to create a chemical reaction) and stains (a discoloration made by a foreign matter) . The program will also train you on how to use modern equipments, instruments and scientific methods to provide accurate laboratory results.

Ladderized Curriculum

Being a ladderized course, students who successfully complete a specific year level and pass the TESDA Competency Assessment are issued the National Certificate (NC) on that particular level. For the BSMedtech program, certifications are only given starting the second year. The following are the certifications given upon a student’s successful completion of the second year.
  • Medical Transcription NCII
  • Emergency Medical Services NCII
  • Healthcare Service NCII

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSMedTech curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • General Education Courses: Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Basic Courses: Introduction to Medical Technology with Science, Technology and Society (STS), Anatomy & Physiology, Community and Public Health, Principles and Strategies of Teaching in Health Education
  • Core Courses: Biological Science, Chemistry, Qualitative and Quantitative Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
  • Professional Courses: Microbiology, Bacteriology, Mycology/Virology, Clinical Chemistry, Routine Clinical Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Endocrinology, Toxicology And Drug Testing, Histology, Analysis of Urine and Other Body Fluids (Clinical Microscopy), Pharmacology, Cytogenetics, Med Tech Laws & Bioethics, Laboratory Management, Parasitology, Immunology & Serology, Immunohematology (Blood Banking), Hematology, General Pathology, Histopathologic/Cytologic Techniques, Research 1 (Introduction to Research), Research 2 (Research Paper Writing), Special topics on Medical Laboratory Science

Students of the BSMedTech program spend most of their time in the classroom listening to lectures and inside the laboratory doing practicum exercises. They are able to learn the different clinical laboratory tests through return demonstrations. Clinical Instructors will perform the procedure first, afterwards, students will have the chance to do the procedures themselves and will be graded based on a performance rating scale.

In the fourth year of the program, students need to complete a research paper. Once finished, they will defend their work infront of a panel and will be graded on a certain criteria. The second semester of the fourth year level is the internship program in an accredited training laboratory with rotational duties in the different sections such as Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunohematology, Immunology and Serology, Urinalysis and Body Fluids, Parasitology and Histopathology.

Is Medical Technology a profession?

Medical Technology is a profession. A graduate of BS in Medical Technology who passed the board examination is called a Registered Medical Technologist (RMT).

Medical technologists analyze samples of body fluids and cells. They study the specimens for bacteria and parasites and identify chemicals contained in them. They perform blood matching for patients who require transfusions and analyze drug levels in a patient's blood to determine his reaction to treatment. They also study test results and communicate the findings to doctors. They can specialize in a variety of areas, such as microbiology, Immunohematology, immunology or molecular biology.

What are the admission requirements for BSMT?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
  • Must have a college entrance examination of above average or depending on the specified rating set by the school.
  • Must pass the interview conducted by the college admission officer.
  • Some schools require an 85% grade or higher in Mathematics and Science as well as a QPA of the same rating.
  • Admission for Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) passers mainly depends on the school's discretion since some colleges and universities only offer selected courses.

What skills are required to succeed in this course?

The following are the most important skills that you have to possess or develop:
  • Basic Mathematical skills – for the use of computational tools
  • Analytical Skills on a moderate level – determining what kind of laboratory tests should be obtained and being able to identify microorganisms contained in specimens to comprehensively diagnose certain diseases
  • Critical Thinking Skills – using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
  • Collaborative skills – the ability to coordinate with different health professionals in the care of patients
  • Communication skills – the ability to effectively relay information both orally and in written form

How difficult is this course?

BSMT is a moderately difficult course. Although the program contains a lot of Science and Medical subjects, they require you to use basic level of thinking and a few complex thinking skills. Concepts in Medical Technology only need recall/memory, analysis and synthesis. In addition, laboratory procedures during clinical internships are routinely done thus providing you with the chance to master every laboratory tests.

How long does it take to complete the Medical Technology program in the Philippines?

The BSMT program takes 4 years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Depending on the school, clinical internships during the fourth year may last 3 to 7 months.

Review for the board examination takes an additional 6 months to a year, depending on whether you pass your first try.

Medical Technology Internship Training Program

This is an intensive practical and theoretical training that usually takes place during the fourth year. Medical Technology students are assigned to clinical/hospital laboratories where they perform lab tests and other diagnostic examinations. They may be allowed to perform tests in Hematology (Complete Blood Count, Platelet Count) , Immunohematology (Blood Banking), Urinalysis and many more.

According to CHED (official governing body of higher education institutions), the total number of exposure/contact hours in the laboratory is 1,786 hours.

Specializations

  • Blood Banking – a specialized field involving the collection (donation), testing, processing, and storing blood for later use (transfusion); important in emergency and surgical medicine and is dependent on the clinical laboratory for ensuring the safe use of blood and its components
  • Chemistry – a specialized area concentrating on the measurement of different proteins and electrolytes, as well as drug levels used to monitor patient therapy
  • Hematology – specialized area that includes the collection, study and analysis of blood samples and blood diseases
  • Immunology – a branch of medical technology that focuses on the study of foreign bodies and how they affect the immune system
  • Microbiology – the study of microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and how they affect the human body

The Board Exam

A graduate of BS in Medical Technology needs to take the Medical Technology Board Examination before he/she can practice the profession. The Board of Medical Technology facilitates the exam under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). It is scheduled twice a year in the months of September and March.

Examination questions come from six major subjects with their corresponding relative weight. Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Parasitology, Hematology, Blood Banking and Serology each have 20% while Clinical Microscopy (Urinalysis and other body fluids) and Histopathologic Technique each have 10%. To pass the examination you should obtain a general weighted average of 75% with no rating below 60% in all the subjects.

You can view the passing rates of the Medical Technology Board Examination here.

Career Opportunities for BSMT graduates

  • Jobs for Registered Medical Technologists (board passers)

    • Entry to Mid level positions

      Jobs requiring no prior experience or a minimal level of experience:
      • Biochemist – study the chemical composition of cells and the cellular makeup of living organisms; they perform research on the cellular level, analyzing chemical processes and reactions
      • Bacteriologist – conduct research and observe the qualities, growth and composition of scientific microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and parasites
      • Blood Bank Technologist – collect, analyze and prepare blood for transfusions
      • Clinical Pathologist – collect samples from patients, sometimes within a surgical setting, or they take the samples collected by clinical lab technicians and assistants
      • Histologist – work closely with pathologists and diagnosticians to identify the cause of patient symptoms and flag any warning signs of disease
      • Microbiologist – studies microscopic organisms using the microscope
      • Parasitologist – study the characteristics, habits, and life cycles of animal parasites. In many cases, their work includes investigation of undiagnosed human illness, and possible parasitic invasion related to the illness
      • Medical Research Assistant – performs tasks to aid research in a hospital, laboratory or clinical setting; help collect samples and specimens, interview research subjects, perform routine tests and procedures, assemble data and ensure that test protocols are documented
      • Toxicologist – determines the risk of negative effects of certain chemicals on humans, animals and the environment
      • Cytotechnologist – specializes in cytology, which is the study of the formation, structure and function of cells
      • Crime Lab Analyst – work in laboratories rather than in the field, analyzing various forms of physical evidence collected by police detectives and forensic technicians at crime scenes
    • Advanced Positions

      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • Forensic Chemist – analyzes evidence that is collected at crime scenes by using principles of chemistry, genetics and biology
      • Chief Medical Technologist – supervises and ensures that all laboratory tests are done accurately and on time
      • Chief Medical Researcher – work in hospitals or science laboratories or independent organizations compiling and analyzing information about diseases, drug interaction and patient progress. They collect data, confer with doctors and patients and report findings to hospital administrators and others
      • Medical Laboratory Manager – responsible for the operation, direction and administration of a clinical laboratory
      • Pharmacologist – studies and analyzes the impact of chemicals and other pharmaceutical substances, such as medicinal plants on the human body
      • Jobs for Non Board passers
      • Medical Equipment Sales Representatives – sells and markets medical equipments to private clinics, diagnostic centers and hospitals; they also instruct and demonstrate the use of certain medical devices
      • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative – work for pharmaceutical companies, traveling around to get doctors to use their product
      • Medical Technicians – assist Medical Technologists in collecting specimens and operating medical equipments during procedures
  • Jobs not related to the BSMT program

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support , administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
  • Career Opportunities Abroad

    There is a steady demand for Medical Technologists overseas. Before you can practice Medical Technology in foreign countries you have to take their licensure examination as well as required trainings. In addition, they will also require you to have an experience of 3 years or more.
  • Salary Levels

    In the Philippines, Registered Medical Technologists with 1 to 4 years of experience receive a monthly salary ranging from P10,000 to P15,000. For those holding more advanced positions and an experience of 5 years above, receive a salary ranging from P14,000 to P20,000 per month (See source).

    Abroad:
    In industrialized countries, pay is definitely higher than local rates. Salary in the USA ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 per year (See source).

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Reviews of BS in Medical Technology graduates:

C. D.
◈ Studied BS in Medical Technology
◈ At Iligan Medical Center College
◈ Graduated 2012

list bulletWhy did I choose Medical Technology:
Being a Medtech you are able to see things that is not visible to the naked eye.

list bulletAbout my college education:
You'll learn to identify different kinds of bacteria, parasites, virus, and fungus which are not visible to the naked eye.

list bulletMy current job:
I am Medical Technologist in a hospital and also a Drug Analyst in a Drug testing Center.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college:
All of it. Laboratory Procedure, Rules and everything I need to know.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job after graduation:
I did not look for a job after graduation. I took the licensure examination first and applied for a vacant job which took me less than a week.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Medical Technology:
Yes.
If you are planning to be a Doctor, Medical Technology is the best preparatory course.
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