What Is Medical Laboratory Science?
Medical laboratory science (also known as medical technology) is a biology/chemistry-based bachelor's degree that prepares students for exciting, challenging and dynamic careers in places such as hospital labs and clinics, forensic labs, veterinary clinics, industrial research labs and molecular biotechnology labs. In addition to performing and clinical laboratory procedures, the medical laboratory scientist may also be involved in developing new diagnostic procedures, supervising and conducting biomedical research; providing technical expertise; consulting; teaching; and/or analyzing and implementing laboratory information systems.
Professionals in this field are in high demand, and with future growth predicted to be above average for all professions, CLS provides solid job security.
As a medical laboratory scientist, you will analyze blood, urine, tissue or other body specimens - these test results play an important role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Earning a degree in clinical laboratory science opens doors to a wide variety of career opportunities. The majority of MLS graduates sit for the national certification examination that grants them the credentials of Medical Laboratory Scientist, or MLS. An MLS (also formerly known as a clinical laboratory scientist or medical technologist) is a "disease detective" helping to pinpoint the cause of disease through the examination and analysis of blood, tissue and other body fluids.
Specialty areas of laboratory medicine include clinical chemistry, hematology, transfusion services, clinical immunology, clinical microbiology and the emerging field of molecular diagnostics. It is estimated that 70-80% of a physician’s medical decisions on any one patient are a direct result of laboratory test data.
The field of laboratory testing has evolved, and with the appearance of sophisticated automated analytical instruments, the MLS practitioner finds him or herself in the role of making decisions about the validity of data to be used by physicians in medical decisions. This type of analysis requires extensive knowledge of normal and abnormal physiology, correlation of laboratory data to specific disease as well as extensive knowledge of instrumentation and individual test principles.