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Medical Laboratory Sciences students who go on to complete baccalaureate degree requirements can perform analytical tests on body fluids, cells and products, the results of which are used by physicians to diagnose disease, to select and monitor treatment and to counsel for prevention of disease.
It is advisable that the medical lab science baccalaureate degree requirements of the senior college you plan to attend be investigated prior to the sophomore year so that electives may be chosen wisely. The student must maintain a high quality of academic work. The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and the University of Tennessee College of Allied Health Sciences in Memphis offer two-year B.S. degree programs which require two years of preparatory course work. A graduate of the course outlined below is entitled to the Associate of Arts degree.
The usual requirement for an entry-level position as a medical laboratory technologist is a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or one of the life sciences; however, it is possible to qualify for some jobs with a combination of education and on-the-job and specialized training. Universities and hospitals offer medical technology programs.
Bachelor’s degree programs in medical technology include courses in chemistry, biological sciences, microbiology, mathematics, and statistics, as well as specialized courses devoted to knowledge and skills used in the clinical laboratory. Many programs also offer or require courses in management, business, and computer applications. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act requires technologists who perform highly complex tests to have at least an associate degree.
Pre-Med option: A B.S. degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences is excellent preparation for applicants to medical school.
What can I expect from a career in Clinical Laboratory Sciences?
The clinical lab scientist performs analytical tests on body fluids, cells and products, the results of which are used by physicians to diagnose disease, to select and monitor treatment and to counsel for prevention of disease. These tests require knowledge and skills in clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunhematology and microbiology. In the work arena the role of the clinical lab scientist has expanded beyond the scientific aspects to include management and teaching.
Clinical laboratory technologists perform complex chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological tests. Technologists microscopically examine blood and other body fluids. They make cultures of body fluid and tissue samples, to determine the presence of bacteria, fungi, parasites, or other microorganisms. Technologists analyze samples for chemical content or a chemical reaction and determine concentrations of compounds such as blood glucose and cholesterol levels. They also type and cross match blood samples for transfusions. Clinical laboratory technologists evaluate test results, develop and modify procedures, and establish and monitor programs, to ensure the accuracy of tests. Some technologists supervise clinical laboratory technicians.