What Does It Take To Become A Clinical Laboratory Scientist?
Clinical laboratory scientists are the ones who prepare and evaluate different specimens, such as cells, tissue, and blood. Their duties would include matching blood recipients and donors for blood transfusions, as well as looking for parasites and bacteria in laboratory samples. But today, aside from conducting tests physically, lab scientists are also tasked to analyze test results, thanks to the advancements in computer technology. If this is something you think you will be interested in doing, then becoming a clinical laboratory scientist should be your career path.
GED Certificate or High School Diploma
The basic requirement to building a career in clinical laboratory science is either a high school diploma or the equivalent GED certificate. It is important that a student possess a solid background in natural sciences along with some secondary courses, such as physics, biology, and chemistry. It is also recommended that students have a background in foreign languages, computer science, English, and mathematics. Most universities and colleges also require that students take the SAT or ACT exams for admission.
To get a position as a clinical laboratory scientist, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science or Medical Technology is a must. Bachelor’s degree programs are normally completed in 4 years, unless the student chooses to study part time. There are online schools offering such programs as well, but there are certain points you need to consider prior to choosing an online school and program.
The degree program to be taken should be accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. After the completion of a four year bachelor’s degree program, students are also required to undergo a clinical training under the supervision of a registered specialist for a year.
The licensing requirements for all clinical laboratory science graduates may vary according to the state. And so it is vital that a graduate check with the state’s health board of licensing for the requirements and other pertinent details. But more often than not, the requirements would include a bachelor’s degree diploma in clinical laboratory science, a completed application for licensing, and some applicable fees.
Although certification is not mandatory for a clinical laboratory scientist to find a job, those with appropriate certification are always preferred by the majority of employers. The certifying institutions could be the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts, the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).