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About the Career

Medical Laboratory Scientists perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure accuracy and validity of laboratory information; they direct and supervise clinical laboratory resources and operations; and they collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Medical Laboratory Scientists practice independently and collaboratively as defined by the profession.  The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgement, and a demonstration of commitment to the patient are essential qualities.  They demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.

At career entry, the Medical Laboratory Scientist will be proficient in performing the full range of clinical laboratory tests in areas such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, molecular, and other emerging diagnostics, and will play a role in the development and evaluation of test systems and interpretive algorithms.  The Medical Laboratory Scientist will have responsibilities in areas of analysis as well as clinical decision making, regulatory compliance, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement wherever laboratory testing is researched, developed or performed.  The Medical Laboratory Scientist will also possess basic knowledge, skills, and relevant experiences in financial operations, information management and research design/practice.

Who Should Consider this Program?

Students inclined towards medicine that excel in biology or chemistry.  Students who desire a meaningful career immediately upon graduation; who can seek employment in labs of all types; clinical/hospital, forensic, biotechnology, reference/regional laboratories and more.

MLS Essential Functions

Essential Functions represent non-academic requirements of the profession that all students must possess to become successful in the clinical laboratory environment and to become employable.  Students considering the MLS program should perform a self assessment to verify that they meet these essential functions prior to applying:

1.  Possess sufficient vision to easily read charts, graphs, instrument panels, printouts, small graduated scales, etc.

2.  Be able to discriminate colors in order to identify reagents, select proper tube types, distinguish physical properties of various body fluids and prepare and identify cells and tissues.

3.  Be able to read, write and communicate in the English language to facilitate effective communication with patients, physicians, and all other members of the health care team.

4.  Possess sufficient hearing ability with or without auditory aides to understand the normal speaking voice and discern audible instrument alert signals and timing devices.

5.  Demonstrate sufficient manual dexterity to safely and accurately perform required tasks such as phlebotomy, operating delicate instruments, manipulating tools, handling small containers of potentially bio-hazardous specimens (one by one-half inch), and utilizing sample measuring devices.

6.  Be sufficiently mobile to traverse about the laboratory, hospital corridors, patient’s rooms, offices and patient examining rooms, (minimum width approximately three feet).

7.  Possess the emotional health and psychological stability required to fully utilize their intellectual abilities under stressful conditions thus allowing them to be able to recognize emergency situations, take appropriate action, and be an effective problem solver.

8.  Be able to sit for extended periods of time at computer stations, read information from a monitor, and use the keyboard.

NOTE:  Corrective devices and reasonable accommodations may be utilized to satisfy these essential functions.

To learn about career preparation, educational requirements, scholarships, salaries and job opportunities for a career in laboratory medicine, go to:

American Society for Clinical Pathology Career Center