The Medical Technologist (MT) Certification Exam is an online test established by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The questions on the exam are intended to gauge the test taker's proficiency in the fundamental areas of laboratory equipment, instruments, testing and procedures. To do well on the test, you'll need a solid background in anatomy/physiology, biological sciences, mathematics, and statistics.
Breaking Down the Exam Contents
Write down each of the exam's major categories/content areas on a separate piece of paper; this includes: General Laboratory, Chemistry, Hematology, Immunology/Immunohematology, Microbiology and Urinalysis.
List the individual subtopics of the major categories under their heading to make a study outline. According to the American Medical Technologist's (AMT) Candidate Handbook, the subtopics under General Laboratory include: Laboratory quality, Laws and regulations, Laboratory safety, Instrumentation, maintenance, & principles of operation, Laboratory mathematics, General microscopy, Phlebotomy/specimen collection, Toxicology and Electrophoresis. The subtopics for Chemistry include: Kidney/Renal tests, Liver/Hepatic tests, Carbohydrate tests, Protein analysis, Enzymology, Endocrinology, Electrolytes, pH, blood gas, and Special chemistry procedures. The subtopics for Hematology are comprised of: Erythrocyte procedures, Leukocyte procedures, Special cellular procedures, Coagulation & Hemostasis and Coagulation procedures. The subtopics for Immunology/Immunohematology include: Serology & Serological tests, Analytical procedures, Special procedures, Immunoglobulin, Crossmatching, Blood typing and Blood banking. The subtopics for Microbiology are: Bacteriology/ Bacterial identification, Parasitology/ Parasite identification, and Mycology/ Mycological procedures. Lastly, the subtopics for the Urinalysis portion of the exam involve: Anatomy and Physiology, Analytic procedures, Microscopic urinalysis and Pathophysiology.
Create index cards with the name of the subtopics on one side and the definition or main points on the other. Add key words or picture associations to help you memorize the material.
Make note of any areas that you have trouble with and review them until you gain a better understanding.
Identify the specific features you'll encounter within each of the contents and subtopics. As noted in the American Society for Clinical Pathology's (ASCP) Examination Content Guidelines, for General Laboratory focus on: Quality Assessment, Safety, Management, Laboratory Mathematics, Instrumentation and Analytical Techniques, Education/Communication and Laboratory Information Systems. For Chemistry, concentrate on: Carbohydrates, Acid Base and Electrolytes, Proteins and Other Nitrogen-Containing Compounds, Enzymes, Lipids and Lipoproteins, Endocrinology, Tumor Markers, TDM and Toxicology. Look into: Erythrocytes and Leukocytes, Morphology and Differentials, Platelets, Hemostasis and Other Tests for Hematology. For Immunology/Immunohematology focus on Antibody Screen and Identification, Crossmatch and Special Tests, Blood Donation, Transfusion Therapy and Infectious Diseases. Focus on Fungus, Viruses, Mycobacteria and Parasites for Microbiology. Finally, review: Pre-Analytical, Physical, Chemical, Microscopic, Physiology, Complete Urinalysis and Amniotic, Gastric, and Synovial Fluids, Serous Body Fluids, Sweat, Semen and Feces for the Urinalysis content.
In order to take the MT Exam you must meet certain eligibility requirements (including a degree from an accredited medical technology program and completed lab hours). Additionally, you must send an application to AMT before you can register for the exam and arrange a date to take it.
Use the index cards to come up with your own medical technology game; this makes it more interesting and the repetition will help commit the information to memory.
- lab image by Svetlana Gajic from Fotolia.com