Medical laboratory scientists’ critical role on the health care delivery team is to provide physicians laboratory data, essential information for making decisions related to diagnoses and treatment. Due to emerging technologies and knowledge of the human condition, the profession of medical laboratory sciences is forever challenging and rewarding. The shortage of clinical laboratory scientists in the workforce has ensured job opportunities for graduates and plentiful student scholarship offerings.
The program includes classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experiences. Students participate in multiple full-time clinical laboratory rotations at facilities including VCU Health, Central Virginia VA Health Care system, University of Virginia Health System, Bon Secours Health Partners Laboratory, and more.
Medical laboratory scientists receive training in the following areas: clinical chemistry, the study of chemical reactions that occur in normal and diseased processes; hematology, the study of the cellular elements of the blood and blood-forming tissues and hemostatic mechanism; urine and body fluids analysis, the study of principles and practices of urinalysis, kidney function, and analyses of cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids; microbiology, the study of microbiological aspects of infectious disease and the isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria; immunohematology, the application of theory and principles of blood banking, cell typing, compatibility testing and antibody identification; and immunology, the study of the immune system and the serological and molecular techniques used for diagnosing infectious disease.
Upon graduation students are eligible to take the national examination for medical laboratory scientists given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Medical laboratory scientists and medical technologists perform laboratory testing in various settings to diagnose, monitor and treat diseases. Most medical laboratory personnel work in hospital laboratories. Many are also employed by private physicians, medical groups, public health and environmental laboratories, research facilities, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies, universities, industrial medical laboratories, molecular diagnostic laboratories and the armed forces. On the job, you would:
With a master's or doctoral degree, you could also manage a medical laboratory, perform clinical and translational research, or teach clinical laboratory science courses in a postsecondary environment.
Students apply for entrance to the B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences through undergraduate admissions during spring semester preceding desired fall admission. Students must complete the two-year program requirements (a total minimum of 60 credits) for application to the Bachelor of Science degree program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the summer preceding desired fall admission.
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