Study Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Clinical Laboratory Sciences Schools
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Are you a high school or university student currently exploring some of the degree and career options in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences? Do you have questions regarding the details of this degree program and the types of career positions for which your studies will prepare you? If so, you may find the following information quite useful.
Clinical Laboratory Science, also known as medical technology, is rapidly becoming a very popular degree option among college and university students. This bachelor degree involves elements of both biology and chemistry, with classes that help prepare students for exciting and rewarding professional careers in places such as hospital laboratories, veterinary clinics, forensic labs and labs dedicated to industrial research and molecular biotechnology. Qualified graduates in this field are in extremely high demand and the growth potential for those with a Clinical Laboratory Sciences degree is virtually unlimited, providing employees solid job security for the foreseeable future.
The majority of students who graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science will go on to take the national certification examination. Those who earn a passing score on this battery will be awarded the title of Medical Laboratory Scientist or MLS.
Careers in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences
After earning the title of MLS, graduates have an unlimited number of career options available to them, including employment in a hospital or other type of medical laboratory—the path taken by nearly 70 percent of graduates. Commonly referred to as “disease detectors,” the work performed by medical laboratory specialists is an invaluable part of the medical process. When working in a hospital laboratory setting, employees are responsible for analyzing blood, urine, tissue and other body fluids. These tests, which help pinpoint the cause of patient complaints, are invaluable to medical doctors, allowing them to detect illnesses and diseases, make the proper diagnosis and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
Many medical laboratory specialists opt for employment in the various specialty areas of laboratory medicine; fields that include hematology, pathology, clinical chemistry, clinical immunology, transfusion services, clinical microbiology and the budding filed of molecular diagnostics. These fields have all evolved rapidly in the past several years, and with the manifestation and adoption of complex analytical tools, the Clinical Laboratory Science specialist must now make educated decisions regarding the soundness of data—data that will be utilized by doctors when making medical diagnoses and decisions. Today the laboratory specialist must be well-versed in both normal and abnormal physiology, the connection between data and specific diseases and the instrumentation used to analyze the data.
A career as a medical laboratory scientist offers a number of advantages, including:
- An ever-growing number of employment opportunities (voted by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 20 careers in the U.S. and the third-best career in the medical field).
- High demand—in the United States there is currently a 12 percent vacancy rate for medical laboratory scientists.
- Rapid advancement within the field.
- Excellent compensation, with six-figure salaries for those at the top of their field.