Are you a problem solver? Do you enjoy investigative research? Are you interested in a health-related field of research and laboratory work? Would you like to work with other health care professionals in an exciting, ever-changing high-tech environment?
Sometimes referred to as Medical Technology, or Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS), it is the health profession that provides the laboratory testing and analysis which makes possible the accurate diagnosis and treatment of human disease.
Medical Laboratory Scientists test body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections and cellular specimens for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbial and histochemical components, using a variety of technical procedures and complex instruments. They act as a part of a team of physicians, pathologists, nurses, and other health professionals in the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
Medical Laboratory Scientists must enjoy laboratory work and problem solving, posses a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and demonstrate commitment to patients and respect for the confidentiality of patient's records and diagnoses.
They complete a one-year training and national certification program, which can be part of a four-year degree plan (with a major in MLS), or can be completed separately with a major other than MLS. The University of Texas at Austin is affiliated with training programs at Austin State Hospital (Austin), Scott & White Hospital (Temple), Methodist Hospital (Houston), and Tarleton State University (Fort Worth).
A career in MLS offers job opportunities in a variety of settings, including hospitals, independent laboratories, clinics, business and industry, research, public health and education. Just a few of the careers include jobs in forensic science, genetic research, immunology, and crime labs. For someone who chooses a career in the medical laboratory, the exploration never ends.
Job opportunities are increasing - there are not enough trained Medical Laboratory Scientists to fill the needs of hospitals, independent labs and clinics. MLS training is also an excellent foundation for further studies in medicine, dentistry and other scientific disciplines.