Become a Urology Technician
Urology technicians work in laboratories, hospitals and clinics assisting urologists with the diagnosis and treatment of urinary disorders. Their duties include reviewing patient records, explaining procedures, setting up equipment and assisting with tests. Urology technicians also might take ultrasound images of the bladder and perform catheterizations. They might spend many work hours standing and be required to move or lift patients.
Urology technicians need excellent attention to detail and must be able to understand and follow oral and written directions and work independently. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants, which include urology technicians, earned a mean annual salary of $31,910 as of May 2015.
Let's trace the steps to become a urology technician.
|Degree Level||Completion of a medical assistant training program|
|Degree Field||Medical assisting|
|Licensure and Certification||Certification is available, but not required; current CPR certification|
|Experience||Varies, though some experience may be necessary|
|Key Skills||Excellent attention to detail, ability to understand and follow oral and written directions, ability to work independently|
|Salary||$31,910 mean annual wage as of May 2015 (for medical assistants)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Watson Clinic LLC job posting April 2011, Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA), NEOGOV job posting July 2012
Step 1: Complete an MA Training Program
Employers usually prefer to hire applicants who hold a medical assistant certificate. Medical assistant training programs are available at community colleges and vocational schools across the country. Common areas of study include examination techniques, pharmacology and laboratory procedures. Most programs can be completed in less than one year.
Here's a success tip:
- Complete an externship experience. Students can gain valuable hands-on experience by completing an externship experience at a medical facility. Externs are able to practice the skills they learned in the classroom in a clinical setting.
Step 2: Gain Experience
Most employers prefer applicants who have at least a year of experience in a healthcare setting. Individuals can gain healthcare experience by working as a medical assistant at a doctor's office, hospital or urgent care center.
Step 3: Pursue Voluntary Certification
Some employers prefer to hire urology technicians who are voluntarily certified by the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA), which demonstrates that the job candidate has professional skills and a high degree of knowledge in the field. To take the SUNA exam, applicants for Urology Associate certification must have completed an accredited training program and have one year of experience working in urology, or have three years of experience working under the supervision of an urologist.
Here's another tip for success:
- Prepare for the certification exam. Students who plan to take the certification exam can visit the SUNA website to access study materials. A brief overview of topics that might appear on the exam and a multiple-choice practice test with answers and explanations are available for students to review.
Remember, to become a urology technician, you'll need to complete a medical assistant training program and gain experience in the medical field. Voluntary certification could improve your job prospects.