Medical laboratory science (clinical laboratory science) is a health profession that encompasses the proper collection, processing, analysis, storage and transport of patient samples in order to obtain very accurate and precise laboratory results. These results have been useful to clinicians in disease diagnoses and in monitoring patients' responses to treatment. They also provide useful information for research studies.
Like all other health professions, clinical laboratory science demands that students be very dedicated. The students are engaged in both theoretical and practical work.
Students who want a career in clinical laboratory science must have a passion for continuous learning throughout their student and professional life in order to stay abreast of the advancements in scientific knowledge and technology.
Clinical laboratory science offers its graduates an enormous opportunity to work in various laboratories, teaching institutions, and in other organizations as representatives, technical consultants, etc.
Graduates who hold an Associate's degree in clinical laboratory science have an opportunity to further their studies and obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Those who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree can pursue advanced degrees or pursue other professional courses such as medicine, dentistry, public health, etc.
Students who want to become medical laboratory scientists should consult the department of Medical/Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the university to which they want to be admitted. It is necessary for them to know the prerequisite courses that must be taken to qualify them for the professional program.
Depending upon the university to which one gains admission, the preparatory program includes more than one of the following subjects:
General chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, and many more.
The curriculum for the clinical laboratory science program includes, but is not limited to, the following courses:
For useful resources on the subject, The University of Utah Eccles Health Sciences Library has online tutorial pages. The Atlas of Hematology is another useful site where images of hematology slides can be viewed by students. The World Health Organization website can be accessed for health information; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has an A-Z index for people to view interesting health topics. PubMed Central is an archive of free articles by the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) which students can access. Students can also follow the International Journal of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (IJBLS) and the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (IFBLS).
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