Clinical laboratory scientists (Medical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Technologists) perform laboratory tests used to diagnose and treat disease and maintain health. Clinical laboratory scientists work in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, urinalysis and molecular diagnostics. They ensure accurate and reliable test results. In hospital clinical laboratories, laboratory scientists analyze blood, body fluids and tissues to detect disease. They work with sophisticated computerized technology such as automated chemistry and hematology analyzers, GLC-Mass spectrophotometers and molecular testing equipment.
Clinical Laboratory Scientists also develop and evaluate new test procedures, maintain quality assurance programs, educate laboratory professionals and manage laboratories. Clinical laboratory scientists are sought in clinical areas, research and industry.
Accuracy, dependability, adherence to deadlines, responsibility, manual dexterity, computer literacy and good interpersonal/communication skills are essential.
Beginning salaries for graduates with baccalaureate degrees average $40,000 in clinical areas and $55,000 in industry, depending on location and job responsibilities. Experienced technologists who become laboratory managers in large hospitals may earn $90,000 or more.
Clinical laboratory scientists are employed in general hospital laboratories, physicians’ offices, private laboratories, mission fields, armed forces, Peace Corps, Project HOPE, public health, medical research programs, pharmaceutical laboratories, blood banks, forensic laboratories, bioterrorism response and industry.
Career interests include clinical specialties, quality improvement and process control, computer analysis, forensic science, research, education and management.
Graduates with this advanced education may progress to supervisory, specialist or management positions, depending on capability, experience. Opportunities are available for graduate education in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, immunohematology, education, management and specialist categories.
Doctoral programs in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science are now offered in the US.
The program requires 74 graduate semester credit hours for graduation. This is an entry-level degree and upon graduation, the student would be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS), administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The program is 5 semesters long and culminates in a research or capstone project. This program will also offer courses in evidence based practice, clinical services delivery, epidemiology, and education principles. This degree will prepare the student for practice in research, management, and education as well as practice as a clinical laboratory scientist.
For the internet students, laboratories are conducted at a satellite laboratory in Atlanta or at the clinical affiliates. The clinical internships are conducted at affiliated clinical sites. Internet students are encouraged to identify possible internship sites convenient to them. The Program of Clinical Laboratory Science will contact these sites to explore a clinical affiliation. The program requires computer capability and Internet connectivity.
In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards for this program.