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                       Technologists and Technicians

In this section you will find information on the following careers:

Medical Records Specialist                                  Medical Sonographer (ultrasounds)

Medical Transcriptionist                                        Pharmacy Technician and Aide

Surgical Technologist

Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessels) Technologist

Veterinarian Technologists and Technicians


Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessel) Technologist

   Are you interested in a medical career that doesn’t mean you have to spend many years training for an interesting and well-paying career? Do you like the idea of helping people to stay healthy and live longer? Read on to find out you could become a cardiovascular technologist!

What They Do: Heart technologists help doctors

(usually cardiologists) in diagnosing and treating heart

and vascular (blood vessels) problems. They often

perform office duties such as scheduling appointments,

preparing patient files, and completing insurance forms.


   Cardiovasular technologists monitor patient’s heart

rates during testing and operate and care for testing equipment. Technologists can go for further training and specialize in different types of procedures. These specialists may assist doctors in procedures in which a small tube (catheter) is threaded through a patient artery to the heart. The procedure can show if there is a blockage in an artery that would restrict blood flow.


Education/Training: Most cardiovascular technologists complete a two-year program at a vocational school or community college to receive an associate degree.


Salary: The average wage for cardiovascular technologists is $56, 850 per year. Wages vary depending on place of employment with hospitals paying more than doctors’ offices and laboratories or outpatient care centers.


Surgical Technologist

  Even a simple surgery requires a lot of preparation before the surgery, a lot of patient monitoring and assisting the surgeon during the surgery, and after surgery patient care.

   Are you interested in a fast-paced, important medical care? Surgical technology is never slow or boring!  Read on for more information on this career and how you might become a surgical technologist.

What They Do: Surgical technologists and operating room

technicians help with surgical procedures under the

supervision of a surgeon or registered nurse. They prepare

the operating room by setting up instruments, checking

equipment, and arranging sterile drapes and solutions.


   Surgical technologists also help prepare patients for

surgery by washing and disinfecting incision sites, monitoring vital signs and transporting them to the operating room.

   During surgery, they assist by handing the surgeon instruments, cutting sutures, and counting supplies and instruments after surgery.


Education/Training: Surgical technologists must have a high school educations and complete additional an education program offered at community colleges, technical/vocational schools, universities and some hospitals.

   Programs can last from 9-24 months. Certificates, diplomas, or associate degree programs are available for this career.


Salary: Average wages for a surgical technologist is $47,300 per year, but wages vary greatly by place of employment, region of the country, education, and experience. Some surgical technologists earn more than $69, 170.



Medical Records Specialist 

  If you think you would like working in a doctor’s office, but don’t think you would like patient care, you might want to consider being a medical records specialist.


Read more about what you would do and how you would prepare for this career.


What They Do: Medical records specialists gather and

maintain patients’ health information such as medical

histories, symptoms, exam results, test results, and

treatments. The maintain and organize health information

to ensure accuracy and security.

   They also relay information from the patients’ charts and records to other doctors’ offices, hospital departments, pharmacies and insurance companies.

Medical records specialists have to be aware of the rules and laws governing patient health confidentiality and security.


   Since many hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices have switched to electronic health records, medical records specialists have to work with computer software for many aspects of patient health records.

Education/Training: Medical records specialist usually need additional training after high school to qualify for medical records jobs. An associate degree is available at some community colleges. A medical records certification greatly improves employment opportunities. Requirements for certification vary by state.


Salary: The average wage of a medical records specialist is $40, 350 per year, but wages vary by place of employment. Some medical records specialists earn more than $66, 260 per year.


Medical Sonographer

   Sonography is not as well-known as having an x-ray,

but they both produce an image of body parts. You may

have a relative who showed you an ultrasound picture of

her baby in the womb. That ultrasound is sonography—

an image that was taken using sound waves instead of

the radiation used in an x-ray.

Read on to find out about having a career as a medical sonographer.


What They Do: Medical sonographers use equipment with sound waves to produce an image of internal structures of the human body. Also called ultrasound, the images are used to diagnose many disease conditions. It is often used during pregnancy to produce an image of the baby.


Education/Training: There are two-year and four-year

programs in sonography. Two-year programs at a

vocational school are usually attended by healthcare

professionals who want additional training. Four-year

programs provide much more training and the student

may find it easier to get a job when he/she graduates.

Salary: Medical sonographers with a four-year degree

earn about $65,860 per year. Sonographers with less training earn less.


Medical Transcriptionist

  If you like the human body topics you study in science and health classes, but don’t think you’d like actual patient care, maybe a career as a medical transcriptionist would be perfect for you!  Read on to find out more about what they do!

What They Do: Medical transcriptionists listen to recordings

made by physicians and other healthcare professionals and

type them into medical reports, letters and other patient

records. They use a headset to listen while they type and

pause the recording when needed.

   Medical transcriptionists must understand medical vocabulary and anatomy that involves human body systems, tests used for diagnosing medical conditions, drug names and treatments. They have to be able to spot mistakes in a patient record that may cause harm to patient health.

   Medical records are now recorded digitally and are transmitted by the internet. Transcriptionists work with computer software that can process the records quickly.

Education/Training: Some medical transcriptionists have on-the-job training, but employers would rather hire transcriptionists who have completed a program after high school. The program provides more training in medical vocabulary and procedures. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer courses in medical transcription and there are distance learning programs that provide the same training.


Salary: The average wage for a medical transcriptionist is $34,770 per year. Salaries vary greatly depending on the place of employment. For example, transcriptionists who work in medical laboratories earn $41,490 per year while those that work in support services at other organizations earn $27,670 per year.


Pharmacy Technician and Aide

     You have probably gone with your parents/guardians

to pick up a prescription from a pharmacy. You have seen

the rows of shelves filled with many different kinds of

medicine. Have you imagined that you could do that job?

A career as a pharmacy technician or aide is an

interesting career, but it does not take as much preparation or training as you might think!  Read below to find out more.


What They Do: Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist to help prepare prescription medicines, label bottles, count pills, pour liquid medicines. They also answer pharmacy phones to record prescriptions from doctors’ offices and patients. All prescriptions are checked by the pharmacist after preparation and labeling.

Technicians also use computers to process prescriptions sent electronically and update patient pharmacy history.


   Pharmacy aides work on more clerical jobs in the pharmacy. They stock shelves, take payments and check on insurance forms. Aides do not work with medications.


Education/Training: Most pharmacy technicians and aides receive on-the-job training at the pharmacy after they are hired. Only high school graduates are hired for these positions. Employers are careful to hire only responsible employees. Training usually lasts about 3 months for aides and 12 months for technicians.

   There are also programs in community colleges and vocational schools. Most states you have to pass an exam and be certified. To take the exam for certification, you must have a high school diploma, no history of felony convictions, and no drug-related convictions


Salary: The average wage for a pharmacy technician is $32,700. Technicians who work in hospitals earn more and those who work in drug stores earn a little less. Pharmacy aides earn an average wage of $26,450.


Veterinary Technologists and Technicians   

  Do you like animals, think you would like taking care of them, but don’t want to spend years studying to be a veterinarian? How would you like to be a veterinary technician?


Read more about this rewarding career that might be perfect for you!


What They Do: Veterinary technicians assist a

licensed veterinarian in most aspects of animal

health care. They perform tests, help the

veterinarian with surgeries, and help give vaccines,

medicines, and treatments.

   Veterinary technicians usually work in small animal veterinary offices, but they can also work in farm animal specialties in larger organizations.


Education/Training: Veterinary technicians have a 2-year associate’s degree in a veterinary technology program. They usually work in a veterinarian’s private practice.


Salary: The average salary for veterinary technicians is about $34,420 per year. Technicians with more training or experience can earn more.

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