If you ask AMT certified Georgia McCauley, MT, what she does for a living, she will tell you “I analyze anything the body excretes and teach others how to do it too!”
It’s part of her role as the program director and associate professor for the Winston-Salem State University CLS Program and weekend supervisor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC.
Always interested in science and health, when a friend became a medical technologist at a small community hospital, Georgia was encouraged to follow the same career path. She started as a clinical laboratory technician receiving on the job training, and then went on to get her associates degree, baccalaureate degree, MBA and PHD with a specialization in Health Services Administration. Forty years later, she is still working in the medical laboratory in addition to teaching. “My heart is working in the laboratory and teaching others to embrace the profession that I love,” she says.
For Georgia, the most rewarding part of her job as a medical technologist is that she can assist physicians and other health care providers with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders. Many times, she has thought about how neat it is that she knows the cause of a health issue before the doctor or the patient, whether it be a sad diagnosis of cancer or leukemia or a happy diagnosis of a new baby on the way.
In the classroom, Georgia uses her experience working in different sized clinical laboratories, from a small community hospital to a large trauma center, to make what her students are learning come alive. She instills in her students the importance of using analytical and critical thinking skills, team-work, community engagement and practical experiences to build desirable qualities in the honorable profession of medical technology. She also takes pride in quickly delivering correct results on the correct patients and wants to teach the importance of this to her students.
One of the biggest challenges Georgia has faced at work is the staffing shortage of qualified, certified MLTs and MTs. There is a need for people in this profession, and Georgia’s advice to someone thinking about entering into it is “Don’t wait to pursue your educational and career goals. Just get it done! The medical technology curriculum is as rigorous as a nursing degree, but the benefits are enormous. Be diligent in your studies, pass your certification exam, become involved in the state and national organizations and the future is yours!”
“Certification is the gold standard for proving competency in practices of medical technology. Earning the MT(AMT) has afforded me job opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to pursue and secure.”
When asked how AMT certification helped her become a better MT, Georgia responded by saying that “Certification is the gold standard for proving competency in practices of medical technology. Earning the MT(AMT) has afforded me job opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to pursue and secure.”
Georgia aspires to become the department chair of a clinical laboratory science program and continue in a relief position in a clinical laboratory for as long as she is able. Of working in the lab, she says “Being in the clinical laboratory is so ingrained in me, that I have anxiety when I think of leaving!”
When she manages to find some spare time, Georgia enjoys reading, watching movies and cooking. She also looks forward to spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Advice for Applicants
Why did you choose AMT?
“AMT has high standards for routes to certification. Earning the right to be called a certified medical technologist with AMT is my badge of honor, which is recognized nationally and internationally. I also enjoy the heartfelt camaraderie with the state members at state society meetings as we support the profession of medical technology.”
How did you prepare for the AMT MT certification exam?
“I made individual notebooks as I was taking each medical technology course. The notebooks included lecture notes, handouts and learning unit self-assessments. I studied all of them repeatedly. I remember feeling ready but nervous. When I took the exam decades ago, it was still paper and pencil.”
As a professor, what advice can you give students preparing to take the AMT MT certification exam?
“My recommendation for students today is to listen in class and not be distracted by cell phones. Take good notes, study presentations and learning unit handouts from the lecture and laboratory sessions and do self-assessment questions. If the instructor does not provide them for you, make your own or buy the textbook and study the questions at the end of each chapter. Study groups also seem to benefit students today. One student might have a way of explaining something that you couldn’t get on your own. I almost forgot to mention online videos. Seeing concepts come to life is so beneficial to learning.” “To study for the actual exam, in addition to having the resources available as I stated above, I would recommend getting an exam review book. There is also a set of review cards that I recommend as well. This is note taking for you at its best. Also, very beneficial to success with certification exams, is online practice tests.”