Medical Laboratory Scientists are important stakeholders in the healthcare system. Medical Laboratory Sciences, MLS, is a critical healthcare field that impacts the health of every individual. Medical Laboratory Scientists provide the laboratory information that helps the physician to correctly diagnose patients, treat them and are also able to monitor disease.
Medical Laboratory Sciences is an important aspect in the healthcare system and in the maintenance of good health. Interestingly, now is the perfect time to pursue a career in Medical Laboratory Sciences because of the variety of career options available for the graduates of this discipline. Medical Laboratory Sciences is a very lucrative course with good salaries. According to Bureau of Labour Statistics, there is currently shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists globally. This shortage makes graduates of Medical Laboratory Sciences in high demand.
Nothing is more interesting than opting for a course that suits your personality. If you are analytical, meticulous, given to problem solving and are interested in the science of health, then you should consider pursuing a career in MLS.
What is Medical Laboratory Sciences?
Medical Laboratory Sciences is a laboratory based degree programme that is concerned with the provision of laboratory information for physicians to correctly diagnose patients and subsequent treatment. This laboratory information is obtained from the analysis of the patients’ specimens which could be blood, urine, tissue, stool and other body specimens. Results from these tests are crucial in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Medical Laboratory Scientists use sophisticated biomedical instrumentation and technology to perform laboratory testing of blood and body fluids and employ their theoretical knowledge to both perform laboratory analyses and evaluate/interpret the results, integrate data, solve problem and develop new test methods.
The increasing need for laboratory testings for the teaming population and development of new kinds of tests further guarantee job opportunity for Medical Laboratory Scientists
How to become a Medical Laboratory Scientist
The first step in your journey to becoming a Medical Laboratory Scientist is to finish your high school with good passes in biology, chemistry and mathematics. After high school, a higher education is needed. You will have to complete a bachelors degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences at an accredited institution. After completing the bachelors degree programme, you need to get certification from the relevant regulatory body (although this is not compulsory in most countries) before you can be allowed to practice as a medical laboratory scientist.
Skills and Competency
in order to be successful as a medical laboratory scientist, you will need to have the following set of skills:
- Attention to details
- Communication skills- both written and oral
- Analytical skill
- Problem solving skill
- Time management skill
- Interpersonal skill
- Decision making
- High hand coordination and dexterity
Career Options for Medical Laboratory Sciences graduates
Job growth and security is very high for Medical Laboratory Scientists. The increasing need for laboratory testings for the teaming population and development of new kinds of tests further guarantee job opportunity for Medical Laboratory Scientists.
Graduates of Medical Laboratory Sciences have a variety of career options to choose from ranging from research, academics, public health, hospitals, etc. These options include
- Clinical Analysts
- Health Radiationist
- Environmental Health Officer
- Health Promotion Officer
- Lecturer in the higher institution
- Researcher in research institutes
Where Medical Laboratory Scientists Work
Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospitals, clinics, public health laboratories, pharmaceutical industries, vet clinics, research institutions, higher institutions, biotechnology companies, etc.
Job Description of a Medical Laboratory Scientist
Medical Laboratory Scientists have a variety of responsibilities. These responsibilities include but not limited to:
- Examining and analyzing specimens
- Interpreting test results
- Relaying test results to physicians
- Generating laboratory test data
- Preparing blood for transfusion
- Monitoring patients outcome
- Preparing and stain slides
- Performing routine and specialized tests
- Utilizing microscopes, cell counters and other lab equipment.