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Career Profiles: Medical Lab Scientist/Medical Lab Tech

What do they do?

Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) and Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) perform highly complex chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic and bacteriological analysis of a variety of patient samples including blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, synovial fluid and other specimens.  Individuals working in this field use the latest technology and processes to perform this highly analytical work.  The MLS/MLT may carry out this work in a variety of interesting settings including hospitals, reference laboratories, industrial, research or biotechnology laboratories and physician offices.  A MLT works under the supervision of a MLS and performs routine tests in all areas of the clinical laboratory.

Educational Requirements

A Medical Laboratory Scientist is an individual that has earned a baccalaureate degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science or in a life science and has successfully completed a clinical rotation or internship performing diagnostic testing under supervision in a functioning laboratoy.  Preparation includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, mathematics, statistics and specialized laboratory skills.  MLS programs usually include courses in management, education and computer applications.

A Medical Laboratory Technician is an individual that has earned an associates degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science or a life science and has successfully completed a clinical rotation or internship.

Certification

Many employers, including St. John Providence Health System, require a MLS/MLT to obtain certification from a recognized professional organization.  Assocations which provide such certification in the United States include the American Society for Clinical Pathology, Board of Certification, the American Medical Technologists, and the American Association of Bioanalysts.  These organizations have different requirements for certification.

More Information

  • American Society for Clinical Pathology

    33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
    Chicago, IL 60603
    312-541-4999

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