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This article was originally published in The Natchez Democrat.
Have you ever asked a young child what he or she wants to be when they grow up?
They might respond with the answer teacher, firefighter or doctor, but chances are the response is not medical laboratory professional.
That is not to say that the field of medical laboratory science is not exciting. It offers the unique opportunity to do the behind-the-scenes diagnostic work, and that is exactly why young people don’t aspire to enter the field.
They don’t know about us.
Some people are lucky enough to find out about the field before entering college.
Many people do not find out about the profession until after graduation, and medical laboratory science becomes a second degree or even a second career for them, as in my case.
Whether you know that clinical science is right for you before starting your undergraduate career or you’ve already graduated and want to enter the field, I want to give you an idea on how to break into medical laboratory science.
Medical laboratory professionals take many of the same courses as other healthcare professionals, including biology, chemistry, microbiology, immunology, parasitology and hematology.
However, unlike many other careers in healthcare, it does not require an advanced degree. There are two-year degrees with six months of clinical rotation. Those with a bachelor’s degree in science can take a board of registry exam for medical lab professionals.
Medical laboratory science is a very diverse field offering a wide range of career paths and opportunities.
As the workforce continues to retire, more and more job opportunities will become available.
No matter how difficult the path may be, a career in MLS is certainly worthwhile and crucial for the success of healthcare.
Doctors make life or death decisions based on what we report. In the lab, you make a unique contribution to the healthcare of a patient that affects almost everyone else on the team.
Our job has never been more important.
Please join me in recognizing our medical laboratory professionals for National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, which is April 22-26.
Celeste Jones is an MT generalist at Riverland Medical Center and a Natchez resident.Back to Main Blog Page
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