What is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?
Clinical Laboratory Scientists (Medical Laboratory Scientists or Medical Technologists) are health-care professionals that provide a vital role in modern medicine. Clinical Laboratory Scientists are extensively educated in all aspects of laboratory medicine. They are responsible for providing accurate information to physicians so that they may:
It is estimated that 70% of all medical decisions made by physicians are based on this vital information provided by Clinical Laboratory Scientists.
The work of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist involves a wide variety of responsibilities in several areas of laboratory medicine. Some of the tasks performed include:
- identification of infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites
- analysis of blood to detect disorders such as leukemia, hemophilia and immunodeficiency
- measuring the presence of antibodies in blood to indicate infection with agents like HIV
- assuring the quality of blood for transfusions
In addition to conducting the laboratory tests, the Clinical Laboratory Scientist:
- assures the quality of test data
- compares and selects appropriate laboratory methods and instruments
- provides physicians with information on the validity and significance of test results
- supervises other laboratory personnel
If you enjoy the challenge of running clinical laboratory tests and being a vital part of a health care team committed to improving patient health and saving lives, a career in Clinical Laboratory Science may be for you!
Top 10 Reasons to Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist
10: Excellent starting salaries and job security
9: Ability to work anywhere in the United States
8: Large range of diverse job responsibilities
7: Opportunity to perform state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory procedures with sophisticated instrumentation
6: Work in a laboratory where you use your mind to solve medical puzzles on a daily basis
5: Excellent opportunities for advancement
4: Acquire an excellent background for continuing education in graduate or medical school
3: Fill a critical national need due to the current demand for Clinical Laboratory Scientists in the United States
2: Be a vital member of a modern health care team that provides the majority of information used to diagnose and treat disease
1: The opportunity to improve patient health and save lives as a result of your laboratory and problem-solving skills
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If you also have plans to pursue an advanced degree, you should consider the Dual Degree Program in Clinical Laboratory Science and Clinical Microbiology, which enables a UWL student to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree in clinical laboratory science (CLS) and a Master of Science degree in microbiology with emphasis in clinical microbiology in six years.